|Date||18 August 1920|
|Location||Olympisch Stadion, Antwerpen|
|Participants||12 from 5 countries|
The championship was supposed to be decided between Matt McGrath, the 1912 Olympic champion, and Paddy Ryan, both “Irish Whales” from the United States. Between 1908 and 1926, Ryan or McGrath won 15 of the 19 AAU Championships, with Ryan winning eight and McGrath winning seven. But McGrath injured his knee in the second round and had to withdraw. This left Ryan unchallenged and he won easily. Ryan did not approach his own world record of 57.77 (set in 1913), nor did he challenge McGrath’s Olympic record of 54.74. All qualifying marks were carried over to the final round.
Some sources state that Tom Nicolson arrived late and did not compete in the qualifying and a petition by the other contestants allowed him to compete in the finals. Gazet van Antwerpen states that Nicolson qualified for the final by throwing in a special trial later in the afternoon. Thus, it would seem that there were seven athletes advanced to the final, instead of the original six, as the rules stated. Although Nils Linde was then seventh in qualifying, he did compete in the final, per Dalpilen, a Falun (SWE) newspaper. Eventually, only six athletes competed in the final as McGrath withdrew after injuring his knee. His qualifying mark was carried over to the final, which allowed him to place fifth.
|1||229||Paddy Ryan||USA||52.830 (1)||52.875 (1)||Gold|
|2||599||Carl Johan Lind||SWE||48.000 (3)||48.430 (2)||Silver|
|3||134||Basil Bennett||USA||48.230 (2)||48.230 (3)||Bronze|
|4||625||Malcolm Svensson||SWE||47.290 (4)||47.290 (4)|
|5||174||Matt McGrath||USA||46.670 (5)||46.670 (5)|
|6||414||Tom Nicolson||GBR||45.700 (6)||45.700 (6)|
|7||600||Nils Linde||SWE||44.885 (7)||44.885 (7)|
|8 r1/2||159||James McEachern||USA||44.700 (8)||–|
|9 r1/2||73||Archie McDiarmid||CAN||44.660 (9)||–|
|10 r1/2||602||Robert Olsson||SWE||44.190 (10)||–|
|11 r1/2||279||Johan Pettersson||FIN||41.760 (11)||–|
|AC r1/2||70||John Cameron||CAN||– (||–|
Top six finishers advanced to the final.
|3||Carl Johan Lind||SWE||48.000|
|2||Carl Johan Lind||SWE||48.430|