| Event type

100 metres Backstroke, Women

Date11 – 13 August 1936
LocationSchwimmstadion, Reichssportfeld, Berlin
Participants21 from 12 countries

The first sensation of this event happened before one of the potential medallists had even set foot in Germany. Eleanor Holm, the glamorous American who had won this event in Los Angeles, was removed from the US team because of her behaviour on the boat bringing her from America. She was accused, amongst other charges, of being blind drunk following a party. Holm was still present in the Olympic swimming stadium but only covering the Games for a press agency.

Even if Holm had participated the favourite would still have been the Netherlands’ Rie Mastenbreok, who held the world record. As the competition progressed it was Mastenbroek’s sixteen year old team-mate Nida Senff who proved to be the star performer, she set the fastest times in both heats and semi-finals as Mastenbroek’s more extensive schedule perhaps weighed against her. The final seemed to have been decided when Senff built up an apparently unassailable lead at halfway but she made what appeared to be a disastrous error and failed to touch the wall. Rather than risk disqualification she turned round and went back but dropped from first to sixth. Mastenbroek moved ahead of the pack but she clipped the lane dividers and lost enough time for Senff to close back on her. With twenty metres left Senff edged into the lead and held on to win the championship.

1Nida SenffNED1:16.6 (1 h1)1:17.1 (1 h1)1:18.9 (1)Gold
2Rie MastenbroekNED1:22.0 (2 h3)1:19.1 (1 h2)1:19.2 (2)Silver
3Alice BridgesUSA1:19.2 (1 h2)1:20.4 (3 h2)1:19.4 (3)Bronze
4Edith MotridgeUSA1:21.0 (1 h3)1:19.1 (2 h1)1:19.6 (4)
5Tove Brunnstrøm MadsenDEN1:20.4 (2 h1)1:19.1 (3 h1)1:20.4 (5)
6Lorna FramptonGBR1:20.9 (3 h1)1:19.6 (2 h2)1:20.6 (6)
7Phyllis HardingGBR1:22.1 (3 h2)1:19.8 (4 h1)1:21.5 (7)
4 h2 r2/3Truus KerkmeesterNED1:21.2 (2 h2)1:21.3 (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3Anni StolteGER1:23.1 (4 h1)1:21.7 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Audrey HancockGBR1:23.6 (3 h3)1:21.6 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3Pat NortonAUS1:22.3 (4 h2)1:21.9 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3Tove NielsenDEN1:25.3 (4 h3)1:22.0 (6 h2)
5 h1 r1/3Kitty MackayAUS1:24.6 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Christel RupkeGER1:23.7 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3Mary McConkeyCAN1:25.3 (5 h3)
6 h1 r1/3Irén GyőrffyHUN1:25.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3Thérèse BlondeauFRA1:23.8 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3Yang XiuqiongCHN1:36.4 (6 h3)
7 h1 r1/3Noel OxenburyCAN1:28.9 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3Roma WagnerAUT1:28.4 (7 h2)
8 h1 r1/3Sieglinde LenkBRA1:32.0 (8 h1)
DNSIrene Pirie-MiltonCAN– (DNS h2)

Round One (11 August 1936 — 8:00)

Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

12Nida SenffNED1:16.6QOR
26Tove Brunnstrøm MadsenDEN1:20.4Q
33Lorna FramptonGBR1:20.9Q
48Anni StolteGER1:23.1Q
55Kitty MackayAUS1:24.6
67Irén GyőrffyHUN1:25.8
71Noel OxenburyCAN1:28.9
84Sieglinde LenkBRA1:32.0

Heat Two

11Alice BridgesUSA1:19.2Q
24Truus KerkmeesterNED1:21.2Q
33Phyllis HardingGBR1:22.1Q
48Pat NortonAUS1:22.3Q
55Christel RupkeGER1:23.7
67Thérèse BlondeauFRA1:23.8
76Roma WagnerAUT1:28.4
DNS2Irene Pirie-MiltonCAN

Heat Three

15Edith MotridgeUSA1:21.0Q
24Rie MastenbroekNED1:22.0Q
36Audrey HancockGBR1:23.6Q
43Tove NielsenDEN1:25.3Q
57Mary McConkeyCAN1:25.3
61Yang XiuqiongCHN1:36.4

Semi-Finals (12 August 1936 — 8:00)

Top three in each heat and the fastest fourth-place advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Nida SenffNED1:17.1Q
21Edith MotridgeUSA1:19.1Q
32Tove Brunnstrøm MadsenDEN1:19.1Q
46Phyllis HardingGBR1:19.8q
53Anni StolteGER1:21.7
65Pat NortonAUS1:21.9

Heat Two

13Rie MastenbroekNED1:19.1Q
21Lorna FramptonGBR1:19.6Q
34Alice BridgesUSA1:20.4Q
42Truus KerkmeesterNED1:21.3
56Audrey HancockGBR1:21.6
65Tove NielsenDEN1:22.0

Final (13 August 1936 — 17:10)

15Nida SenffNED1:18.9
24Rie MastenbroekNED1:19.2
36Alice BridgesUSA1:19.4
43Edith MotridgeUSA1:19.6
52Tove Brunnstrøm MadsenDEN1:20.4
67Lorna FramptonGBR1:20.6
71Phyllis HardingGBR1:21.5