| Event type

100 metres Freestyle, Men

Date10 – 11 August 1928
LocationZwemstadion, Amsterdam
Participants30 from 17 countries

With an unbeaten record that stretched back seven years and arriving in Amsterdam as both defending champion and world record holder record, Johnny Weissmuller was a clear favourite for the sprinter’s crown at the 1928 Games. He cruised through the heat and semi-final, each time marking his nearest rival until a finishing kick asserted his dominance to both crowd and opponents. Weissmuller lost time to a poor start and although he trailed the surprise of the event, István Bárány of Hungary, early in the race, the American moved ahead only for the Hungarian to surge again and close the gap on the leader. Weissmuller’s superior turning technique gained him time on his rival and he moved away to victory. It should be mentioned that a conflicting report on the race states that Weissmuller actually lost time coming out of the turn as he swallowed a large gulp of water and became briefly disorientated before regaining his composure. He trained for the Los Angeles Games of 1932 but he was enticed by Hollywood and went to play the part of “Tarzan” in motion pictures for the next fifteen years. Although his acting abilities were somewhat limited, he remains to this day an iconic figure in movie history. This was Weissmuller fifth and final Olympic gold, a tally neatly equalled by the number of his marriages. Walter Spence of Canada, who finished sixth, learned to swim in the rivers of Guyana and bore the scars left by numerous piranha bites.

1Johnny WeissmullerUSA1:00.0 (1 h3)58.6 (1 h3)58.6 (1)Gold
2István BárányHUN1:01.2 (1 h7)1:00.8 (2 h3)59.8 (2)Silver
3Katsuo TakaishiJPN1:01.2 (2 h1)1:00.0 (1 h1)1:00.0 (3)Bronze
4George KojacUSA1:01.6 (1 h6)1:01.0 (1 h2)1:00.8 (4)
5Walter LauferUSA1:00.8 (1 h1)1:00.6 (2 h1)1:01.0 (5)
6Walter SpenceCAN1:00.6 (2 h3)1:01.4 (3 h1)1:01.4 (6)
7Alberto ZorrillaARG1:01.8 (1 h5)1:01.6 (2 h2)1:01.6 (7)
3 h2 r2/3Rezső WaniéHUN1:03.4 (1 h2)1:03.8 (3 h2)
3 h3 r2/3August HeitmannGER1:02.2 (3 h1)1:03.0 (3 h3)
4 h1 r2/3Antal GáborfiHUN1:04.0 (1 h4)1:04.8 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3Francisco UrangaARG1:05.6 (2 h2)– (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/3Knut OlsenNOR1:05.0 (2 h5)– (4 h3)
5 h1 r2/3Antonio ConelliITA1:07.0 (2 h4)– (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Karl SchubertGER1:03.8 (2 h6)– (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/3Emilio PolliITA1:04.0 (2 h7)– (5 h3)
3 h2 r1/3Gustave KleinFRA1:05.8 (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/3Norman BrooksGBR1:03.4 (3 h3)
3 h4 r1/3Adán GordónPAN1:10.8 (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/3Sven PetterssonSWE1:06.4 (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3Reg SuttonGBR1:04.0 (3 h6)
3 h7 r1/3Henk van EssenNED1:07.4 (3 h7)
4 h1 r1/3Eskil LundahlSWE1:03.0 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Mario AstaburuagaCHI– (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3Herbert HeinrichGER– (4 h3)
4 h5 r1/3Faelo ZúñigaCHI– (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3Munroe BourneCAN– (4 h6)
4 h7 r1/3José GonzálezESP– (4 h7)
5 h1 r1/3Germán SchülerCHI– (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Martial Van SchelleBEL– (5 h2)
5 h7 r1/3Władysław KuncewiczPOL– (5 h7)
DNSHenri StoelenBEL– (DNS h5)
DNSD. D. MuljiIND– (DNS h4)
DNSEmilio VivesARG– (DNS h1)
DNSArne BorgSWE– (DNS h2)
DNSKazuo NodaJPN– (DNS h3)
DNSFred RödigerAUT– (DNS h3)
DNSBilly BroderickIRL– (DNS h4)
DNSTuburan TamsePHI– (DNS h4)
DNSHenri Padou, Sr.FRA– (DNS h5)
DNSTokuhei SadaJPN– (DNS h6)
DNSHans GoldbergerAUT– (DNS h6)
DNSPaddy McClureIRL– (DNS h7)

Round One (10 August 1928 — 10:00)

Top two in each heat and the fastest third-place advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

16Walter LauferUSA1:00.8Q
24Katsuo TakaishiJPN1:01.2Q
35August HeitmannGER1:02.2q
43Eskil LundahlSWE1:03.0
52Germán SchülerCHI
DNS1Emilio VivesARG

Heat Two

11Rezső WaniéHUN1:03.4Q
23Francisco UrangaARG1:05.6Q
35Gustave KleinFRA1:05.8
44Mario AstaburuagaCHI
52Martial Van SchelleBEL
DNS6Arne BorgSWE

Heat Three

14Johnny WeissmullerUSA1:00.0Q
23Walter SpenceCAN1:00.6Q
35Norman BrooksGBR1:03.4
42Herbert HeinrichGER
DNS1Kazuo NodaJPN
DNS6Fred RödigerAUT

Heat Four

11Antal GáborfiHUN1:04.0Q
22Antonio ConelliITA1:07.0Q
34Adán GordónPAN1:10.8
DNS3Billy BroderickIRL
DNS5Tuburan TamsePHI
DNS6D. D. MuljiIND

Heat Five

12Alberto ZorrillaARG1:01.8Q
25Knut OlsenNOR1:05.0Q
36Sven PetterssonSWE1:06.4
DNS1Henri StoelenBEL
DNS4Henri Padou, Sr.FRA
43Faelo ZúñigaCHI

Heat Six

14George KojacUSA1:01.6Q
22Karl SchubertGER1:03.8Q
35Reg SuttonGBR1:04.0
DNS1Tokuhei SadaJPN
DNS6Hans GoldbergerAUT
43Munroe BourneCAN

Heat Seven

11István BárányHUN1:01.2Q
25Emilio PolliITA1:04.0Q
34Henk van EssenNED1:07.4
DNS6Paddy McClureIRL
42José GonzálezESP
53Władysław KuncewiczPOL

Semi-Finals (10 August 1928 — 16:00)

Heat One

12Katsuo TakaishiJPN1:00.0Q
24Walter LauferUSA1:00.6Q
35Walter SpenceCAN1:01.4q
41Antal GáborfiHUN1:04.8
53Antonio ConelliITA

Heat Two

13George KojacUSA1:01.0Q
24Alberto ZorrillaARG1:01.6Q
31Rezső WaniéHUN1:03.8
42Francisco UrangaARG
55Karl SchubertGER

Heat Three

13Johnny WeissmullerUSA58.6QOR
21István BárányHUN1:00.8Q
32August HeitmannGER1:03.0
44Knut OlsenNOR
55Emilio PolliITA

Final (11 August 1928 — 16:35)

15Johnny WeissmullerUSA58.6=OR
24István BárányHUN59.8
37Katsuo TakaishiJPN1:00.0
41George KojacUSA1:00.8
52Walter LauferUSA1:01.0
66Walter SpenceCAN1:01.4
73Alberto ZorrillaARG1:01.6