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Crew-Cut Schoolboy Wins Olympic Title, While Police Manhandle Fina President

Nov 16, 1998

At the Los Angeles Olympics on August 7th, 1932, Yasuji Miazaki, a crew-cut 17-year-old Japanese grammar schoolboy, won the men's 100 metres freestyle final in 58.2 seconds, two-tenths of a second slower than the Olympic record he had set in the previous day's semi-finals. A flicker of a finger behind in second place was team mate, Tatsugo Kawaishi.

America's leading swimmer, Al Schwartz of Chicago, was third, a yard behind the winner. In fourth place was Manuella Kalili, also of the U.S.A.

The water polo game was highlighted by a post-match free-for-all in which a huge Hungarian goalkeeper crawled out of the water and kicked the referee in the pants, while swinging wildly at him with his fists. His team-mates milled around the hapless official shouting a torrent of abuse at him. As the police rushed to his rescue, Dr Leo Donath, then president of FINA, inadvertently fell into their clutches, but wrenched himself free while "denouncing them in the most excoriating terms, defying them to touch him again." Other Olympic officials broke through the police cordon, outraged at the thought of his being manhandled. Dr Donath was released and stalked away to get at the source of the outbreak.