| Event type

100 metres Backstroke, Men

Date4 – 6 August 1948
LocationWembley Arena, Wembley, London
Participants39 from 24 countries

Earlier in the year Allan Stack had broken Adolph Kiefer’s twelve year old world record for this event and the stylish American was considered a strong favourite to follow Kiefer as Olympic champion. Stack was fastest in both heat and semi-final but had a nasty surprise as he lined up for the start of the final. As he waited in the water he attempted to tighten his swimming trunks and felt the cord break in his hands and his trunks begin to slip off. Fortunately the starter allowed him to leave the pool and replace his trunks and avoid what could have been an embarrassing situation for him. The final turned out to be much closer than had been anticipated with Stack’s fellow American, Robert Cowell, pressing him throughout and even leading at one stage. The difference between gold medal winner Stack and Cowell in silver was just a tenth of a second.

1Allen StackUSA1:06.6 (1 h4)1:07.3 (1 h1)1:06.4 (1)Gold
2Bob CowellUSA1:06.9 (1 h5)1:08.5 (1 h2)1:06.5 (2)Silver
3Georges Vallerey, Jr.FRA1:07.4 (1 h6)1:08.3 (2 h1)1:07.8 (3)Bronze
=4Mario ChavesARG1:09.7 (2 h3)1:09.8 (5 h1)1:09.0 (=4)
=4Clemente MejíaMEX1:09.8 (3 h3)1:09.6 (4 h1)1:09.0 (=4)
6Jackie WiidRSA1:08.5 (1 h1)1:09.2 (3 h2)1:09.1 (6)
7John BrockwayGBR1:09.2 (1 h3)1:09.1 (3 h1)1:09.2 (7)
8Bert KinnearGBR1:09.7 (2 h4)1:09.2 (2 h2)1:09.6 (8)
4 h2 r2/3Howard PattersonUSA1:09.3 (2 h6)1:09.9 (4 h2)
5 h2 r2/3 PalucaBRA1:10.5 (3 h6)1:10.1 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3Paulo SilvaBRA1:10.0 (3 h4)1:09.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3Lucien ZinsFRA1:10.9 (4 h3)1:11.5 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3Cees KievitNED1:10.8 (2 h1)1:11.3 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3Ilo da FonsecaBRA1:11.9 (2 h2)1:11.6 (7 h2)
8 h1 r2/3Bruce BourkeAUS1:11.3 (1 h2)1:11.4 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3René PirolleyFRA1:11.4 (2 h5)1:12.9 (8 h2)
3 h1 r1/3José VegazziARG1:13.8 (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/3Jiří KovářTCH1:12.9 (3 h2)
3 h5 r1/3Donald ShanksBER1:17.1 (3 h5)
4 h1 r1/3Francisco CalamitaESP1:14.2 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Carlos NoriegaURU1:15.0 (4 h2)
4 h4 r1/3Tony SummersGBR1:11.2 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/3Dorri Abdel KaderEGY1:19.0 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3Federico NeumayerARG1:11.8 (4 h6)
5 h1 r1/3Eric JubbCAN1:14.3 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Martin LundénSWE1:15.6 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3Mário SimasPOR1:12.8 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/3Gyula VálentHUN1:11.8 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3Guðmundur IngólfssonISL1:19.4 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3Peter MingieCAN1:13.2 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/3Per-Olof OlssonSWE1:14.6 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3Tonatiuh GutiérrezMEX1:15.6 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3Fritz ZwazlAUT1:13.5 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3Manuel GuerraESP1:14.8 (6 h4)
6 h6 r1/3Hans BlumerSUI1:18.5 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3Kanti ShahIND1:19.9 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3Jaffar Ali ShahPAK1:30.2 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/3Nikolaos MelanofeidisGRE1:22.0 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/3Prahtip MitraIND1:24.5 (7 h4)
DNSHelmut KoppelstätterAUT– (DNS h5)
DNSLászló GyöngyösiHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSIftikhar Ahmed ShahPAK– (DNS h6)

Round One (4 August 1948 — 14:00)

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

Heat One

16Jackie WiidRSA1:08.5Q
21Cees KievitNED1:10.8Q
35José VegazziARG1:13.8
43Francisco CalamitaESP1:14.2
54Eric JubbCAN1:14.3
67Per-Olof OlssonSWE1:14.6
72Kanti ShahIND1:19.9

Heat Two

11Bruce BourkeAUS1:11.3Q
23Ilo da FonsecaBRA1:11.9Q
37Jiří KovářTCH1:12.9
42Carlos NoriegaURU1:15.0
55Martin LundénSWE1:15.6
66Tonatiuh GutiérrezMEX1:15.6
74Jaffar Ali ShahPAK1:30.2

Heat Three

14John BrockwayGBR1:09.2Q
26Mario ChavesARG1:09.7Q
31Clemente MejíaMEX1:09.8q1
45Lucien ZinsFRA1:10.9q
53Mário SimasPOR1:12.8
62Fritz ZwazlAUT1:13.5
77Nikolaos MelanofeidisGRE1:22.0

Heat Four

16Allen StackUSA1:06.6Q
21Bert KinnearGBR1:09.7Q
32Paulo SilvaBRA1:10.0q
47Tony SummersGBR1:11.2
53Gyula VálentHUN1:11.8
64Manuel GuerraESP1:14.8
75Prahtip MitraIND1:24.5

Heat Five

17Bob CowellUSA1:06.9Q
25René PirolleyFRA1:11.4Q
31Donald ShanksBER1:17.1
43Dorri Abdel KaderEGY1:19.0
54Guðmundur IngólfssonISL1:19.4
DNS6Helmut KoppelstätterAUT
DNS2László GyöngyösiHUN

Heat Six

17Georges Vallerey, Jr.FRA1:07.4Q
23Howard PattersonUSA1:09.3Q
35 PalucaBRA1:10.5q
44Federico NeumayerARG1:11.8
52Peter MingieCAN1:13.2
66Hans BlumerSUI1:18.5
DNS1Iftikhar Ahmed ShahPAK

Semi-Finals (5 August 1948 — 21:00)

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

Heat One

15Allen StackUSA1:07.3Q
24Georges Vallerey, Jr.FRA1:08.3Q
36John BrockwayGBR1:09.1Q
43Clemente MejíaMEX1:09.6q
57Mario ChavesARG1:09.8q
62Paulo SilvaBRA1:09.8
78Cees KievitNED1:11.3
81Bruce BourkeAUS1:11.4

Heat Two

15Bob CowellUSA1:08.5Q
23Bert KinnearGBR1:09.2Q
34Jackie WiidRSA1:09.2Q
46Howard PattersonUSA1:09.9
57 PalucaBRA1:10.1
62Lucien ZinsFRA1:11.5
71Ilo da FonsecaBRA1:11.6
88René PirolleyFRA1:12.9

Final (6 August 1948 — 19:00)

15Allen StackUSA1:06.4
26Bob CowellUSA1:06.5
34Georges Vallerey, Jr.FRA1:07.8
=41Mario ChavesARG1:09.0
=48Clemente MejíaMEX1:09.0
62Jackie WiidRSA1:09.1
73John BrockwayGBR1:09.2
87Bert KinnearGBR1:09.6