Athletics at the 1920 Summer Olympics – Men's shot put

The men's shot put event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1920 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on Tuesday, August 17, 1920, and on Wednesday, August 18, 1920. Twenty shot putters from ten nations competed.[1] No nation had more than 4 athletes, suggesting the limit had been reduced from the 12 maximum in force in 1908 and 1912. The event was won by Ville Pörhölä of Finland, the first time the men's shot put was won by someone not from the United States. Fellow Finn Elmer Niklander took silver. The Americans, who had won all five previous editions of the shot put, including three medal sweeps, settled for bronze by Harry B. Liversedge.

Men's shot put
at the Games of the VII Olympiad
Ville Pörhölä.jpeg
Ville Pörhölä
VenueOlympisch Stadion
DatesAugust 17–18
Competitors20 from 10 nations
1st place, gold medalist(s) Ville Pörhölä
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Elmer Niklander
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Harry B. Liversedge
 United States
← 1912
1924 →


This was the sixth appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Returning throwers from the pre-war 1912 Games were gold medalist Pat McDonald of the United States, fourth-place finisher Elmer Niklander of Finland, seventh-place finisher Einar Nilsson of Sweden, twelfth-place finisher Aurelio Lenzi of Italy, and sixteenth-place finisher Raoul Paoli of France. The great Ralph Rose, who had won in 1904 and 1908 and lost narrowly to McDonald in 1912, and was still the world record holder, had died of typhoid fever at the age of 28 in 1913. This left McDonald as the "likely favorite," until he injured his hand. Ville Pörhölä of Finland, who would have been a strong challenger for a healthy McDonald, was best positioned to win after that injury.[2]

Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Switzerland made their debut in the men's shot put. The United States appeared for the sixth time, the only nation to have competed in all Olympic shot put competitions to date. Greece, which had appeared all five previous times, was absent for the first time.

Competition formatEdit

The competition continued to use the two-round format used in 1900 and since 1908, with results carrying over between rounds. The number of finalists expanded from three in previous Games to six in 1920. Each athlete received three throws in the qualifying round. The top six men advanced to the final, where they received an additional three throws. The best result, qualifying or final, counted.[2][3]


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in metres) prior to the 1920 Summer Olympics.

World record   Ralph Rose (USA) 15.54 San Francisco, United States 21 August 1909
Olympic record   Pat McDonald (USA) 15.34 Stockholm, Sweden 10 July 1912

No new world or Olympic records were set during the competition.


Date Time Round
Tuesday, 17 August 1920 10:15 Qualifying
Wednesday, 18 August 1920 14:45 Final


The best six shot putters qualified for the final. Individual throw results for the qualifying round are not available.

Rank Athlete Nation Qual. 4 5 6 Distance
  Ville Pörhölä   Finland 14.035 13.915 14.255 14.810 14.81
  Elmer Niklander   Finland 14.155 13.500 14.080 X 14.155
  Harry Liversedge   United States 13.755 13.550 14.150 X 14.150
4 Pat McDonald   United States 14.080 13.500 14.080 X 14.080
5 Einar Nilsson   Sweden 13.735 13.440 13.870 X 13.87
6 Harald Tammer   Estonia 13.605 13.560 12.000 13.605 13.605
7 George Bihlman   United States 13.575 Did not advance 13.575
8 Howard Cann   United States 13.520 Did not advance 13.520
9 Bertil Jansson   Sweden 13.270 Did not advance 13.270
10 Armas Taipale   Finland 12.945 Did not advance 12.945
11 Frederik Petersen   Denmark 12.525 Did not advance 12.525
12 Raoul Paoli   France 12.485 Did not advance 12.485
13 Aurelio Lenzi   Italy 12.325 Did not advance 12.325
14 Giuseppe Tugnoli   Italy 12.070 Did not advance 12.070
15 Henri Dozolme   France 11.965 Did not advance 11.965
16 Erik Blomqvist (athlete)   Sweden 11.935 Did not advance 11.935
17 Ignacio Izaguirre   Spain 11.235 Did not advance 11.235
18 Gaston Wuyts   Belgium 11.045 Did not advance 11.045
19 Luigi Antognini   Switzerland 10.320 Did not advance 10.320
20 Léon Pottier   Belgium 10.100 Did not advance 10.100


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games: Men's Shot Put". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Shot Put, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  3. ^ Official Report, p. 117.

External linksEdit

  • Belgium Olympic Committee (1957). Olympic Games Antwerp 1920: Official Report (in French).
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 24 August 2007.