| Event type

100 metres Freestyle, Men

Date30 – 31 July 1948
LocationWembley Arena, Wembley, London
Participants41 from 19 countries
Olympic Record 57.5 / Masanori Yusa JPN / 8 August 1936
57.5 / Masaharu Taguchi JPN / 8 August 1936

Although the American Alan Ford was the world record holder, the acknowledged favourite was the teenaged French colossus Alex Jany. Jany moved to the final without alarm but was joined by a powerful trio of Americans. The Frenchman made a fast start and led at the 50m mark but he had mistimed his effort and faded back into the chasing pack. Ford took the lead but twenty metres from the wall he was passed by his compatriot, Wally Ris, who edged clear to win by half a second. Ford held on for silver although he was helped by the Hungarian Géza Kádas’ collision with a lane divider a stroke from the end. Jany’s sister, Ginette, was so overwhelmed by the events of the race that she collapsed and had to be stretchered away from the arena. Ari Guðmundsson of Iceland failed to make the semi-finals but was to return to Olympic competition in 1952 as a ski-jumper in the Oslo Winter Games.

1Wally RisUSA58.1 (1 h5)57.5 (1 h2)57.3 (1)Gold
2Alan FordUSA59.2 (1 h6)57.8 (2 h2)57.8 (2)Silver
3Géza KádasHUN58.2 (1 h3)58.0 (3 h2)58.1 (3)Bronze
4Keith CarterUSA58.7 (1 h2)57.6 (1 h1)58.3 (4)
5Alex JanyFRA58.1 (1 h1)57.9 (2 h1)58.3 (5)
6Per-Olof OlssonSWE59.0 (2 h2)59.1 (4 h2)59.3 (6)
7Zoltán SzilárdHUN59.8 (3 h2)59.6 (3 h1)59.6 (7)
8Taha El-GamalEGY59.7 (2 h6)59.9 (4 h1)1:00.5 (8)
5 h1 r2/3Bruce BourkeAUS59.1 (2 h1)1:00.0 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Horacio WhiteARG1:00.2 (1 h4)1:00.4 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3Martin LundénSWE1:00.2 (3 h6)1:00.2 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3Elemér SzathmáryHUN59.7 (3 h1)1:00.5 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3Alberto IsaacMEX1:00.1 (2 h3)1:00.4 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3Ron StedmanGBR1:01.3 (2 h5)1:01.0 (7 h2)
8 h1 r2/3Aram BoghossianBRA1:00.9 (2 h4)1:01.0 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3Warren BoydAUS1:00.4 (3 h3)1:01.1 (8 h2)
3 h4 r1/3Jesús DomínguezESP1:01.3 (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/3Henri Padou, Jr.FRA1:01.5 (3 h5)
4 h1 r1/3Olle JohanssonSWE1:01.0 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Manuel GuerraESP1:00.7 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3Ali BagdadiEGY1:02.4 (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/3Dorri Abdel KaderEGY1:02.5 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/3Sérgio RodríguesBRA1:01.6 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3Peter SalmonCAN1:01.0 (4 h6)
5 h1 r1/3Plauto GuimarãesBRA1:03.7 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Augusto CantónARG1:01.8 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3Eric JubbCAN1:02.8 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/3Fernand MartinauxFRA1:04.2 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3Wu ChuanyuCHN1:03.5 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3Ari GuðmundssonISL1:01.6 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/3Isidoro PérezESP1:04.0 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3Nicasio SilverioCUB1:02.0 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3Sachin NagIND1:03.8 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3Panagiotis KhatzikyriakakisGRE1:07.4 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/3Derek OatwayBER1:08.6 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3Trevor HarropGBR1:02.3 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3Isaac MansoorIND1:06.4 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3Pat KendallGBR1:02.1 (7 h2)
7 h6 r1/3Raúl GarcíaCUB1:02.5 (7 h6)
8 h2 r1/3Dilip MitraIND1:06.9 (8 h2)
8 h6 r1/3Walter SchneiderSUI1:05.1 (8 h6)
DNSErnest McCartneyIRL– (DNS h5)
DNSPaddy KavanaghIRL– (DNS h4)
DNSStuart KrammIRL– (DNS h3)
DNSSultan Karim AliPAK– (DNS h1)
DNSBryan O'ConnellPAK– (DNS h5)

Round One (30 July 1948 — 14:00)

Top two in each heat and the next four fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

14Alex JanyFRA58.1Q
23Bruce BourkeAUS59.1Q
31Elemér SzathmáryHUN59.7q
47Olle JohanssonSWE1:01.0
55Plauto GuimarãesBRA1:03.7
66Isidoro PérezESP1:04.0
78Isaac MansoorIND1:06.4
DNS2Sultan Karim AliPAK

Heat Two

18Keith CarterUSA58.7Q
26Per-Olof OlssonSWE59.0Q
33Zoltán SzilárdHUN59.8q
41Manuel GuerraESP1:00.7
54Augusto CantónARG1:01.8
65Nicasio SilverioCUB1:02.0
72Pat KendallGBR1:02.1
87Dilip MitraIND1:06.9

Heat Three

17Géza KádasHUN58.2Q
24Alberto IsaacMEX1:00.1Q
33Warren BoydAUS1:00.4q
45Ali BagdadiEGY1:02.4
51Eric JubbCAN1:02.8
66Sachin NagIND1:03.8
DNS2Stuart KrammIRL

Heat Four

13Horacio WhiteARG1:00.2Q
22Aram BoghossianBRA1:00.9Q
36Jesús DomínguezESP1:01.3
44Dorri Abdel KaderEGY1:02.5
55Fernand MartinauxFRA1:04.2
61Panagiotis KhatzikyriakakisGRE1:07.4
DNS7Paddy KavanaghIRL

Heat Five

16Wally RisUSA58.1Q
23Ron StedmanGBR1:01.3Q
38Henri Padou, Jr.FRA1:01.5
47Sérgio RodríguesBRA1:01.6
54Wu ChuanyuCHN1:03.5
62Derek OatwayBER1:08.6
DNS1Ernest McCartneyIRL
DNS5Bryan O'ConnellPAK

Heat Six

11Alan FordUSA59.2Q
22Taha El-GamalEGY59.7Q
36Martin LundénSWE1:00.2q
43Peter SalmonCAN1:01.0
55Ari GuðmundssonISL1:01.6
67Trevor HarropGBR1:02.3
78Raúl GarcíaCUB1:02.5
84Walter SchneiderSUI1:05.1

Semi-Finals (30 July 1948 — 20:30)

Top three in each heat and the next two fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Keith CarterUSA57.6Q
2Alex JanyFRA57.9Q
3Zoltán SzilárdHUN59.6Q
4Taha El-GamalEGY59.9q
5Bruce BourkeAUS1:00.0
6Martin LundénSWE1:00.2
7Alberto IsaacMEX1:00.41
8Aram BoghossianBRA1:01.0

Heat Two

1Wally RisUSA57.5Q=OR
2Alan FordUSA57.8Q
3Géza KádasHUN58.0Q
4Per-Olof OlssonSWE59.1q
5Horacio WhiteARG1:00.4
6Elemér SzathmáryHUN1:00.5
7Ron StedmanGBR1:01.0
8Warren BoydAUS1:01.1

Final (31 July 1948 — 15:30)

15Wally RisUSA57.3OR
26Alan FordUSA57.8
37Géza KádasHUN58.1
44Keith CarterUSA58.3
53Alex JanyFRA58.3
62Per-Olof OlssonSWE59.3
78Zoltán SzilárdHUN59.6
81Taha El-GamalEGY1:00.5