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Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games:

Men's Long Jump

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 27, 1906
Date Finished: April 27, 1906
Format: Final only.

Gold: USA Meyer Prinstein
Silver: GBR Peter O'Connor
Bronze: USA Hugo Friend

Summary

This was one of the more eagerly awaited events as it matched Meyer Prinstein, defending champion from 1904, and runner-up in 1900, and Peter O'Connor of Ireland, who in 1904 had broken Prinstein's world record. Prinstein posted his winning mark in round one, and O'Connor was unable to match it. O'Connor protested this mark, however, saying that only one judge had been present when Prinstein jumped. O'Connor was also upset about what he considered unjust fouls called on him. One foul was called when he fell backwards after landing, which the committee ruled was a foul according to the rules in effect at that time. Prinstein was fortunate for he injured himself on his opening jump and produced only one fair jump after that.

O'Connor lodged a formal protest of the results, noting three problems which he perceived: 1) Prinstein's number was 40, but he jumped third which allowed him to take advantage of a smoother track; 2) [Matthew] Halpin [USA] assumed the duties of official, judge, and measurer; and 3) Halpin declared two of O'Connor's jumps foul and he claimed one of these exceeded Prinstein's winning mark. The protest was not allowed.

O'Connor's troubles began when he arrived in Athens with the other Irish athletes, Con Leahy and John Daly. They noted that they were described in the program as British, which greatly upset them. O'Connor wrote to the Organizing Committee protesting this. Years later, in an interview in The Limerick Leader (25 August 1956), he noted, "I have a copy of that letter making a strong protest and stating emphatically that we represented Ireland, that our expenses had been paid by Irishmen, and that we objected, if any were successful, to our wins being recorded in any way as points for England. My letter came before the Olympic Committee, but on a vote the British scored a victory, the Greek delegates supporting the claim on the former that Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom."

O'Connor also observed that the British judges resented the Irish attitude, adding that, "I was robbed deliberately, in consequence, through [Matt] Halpin, the American trainer, acting as sole judge in measuring each competitor's jump." After Prince Georgios denied O'Connor's protest, he noted, "I then found the two English judges who should have acted, but they curtly told me that owing to my letter repudiating England they would not act. If my wife had not been present looking at the contest, which restrained me, I would have beaten Halpin to a pulp."

In Prinstein's defense, Spalding noted, "It may be said that Prinstein's jump was measured by Mr. Perry of England, and the measuring was witnessed not only by Mr. Halpin but Mr. Müller of Germany and Mr. Dahl of Sweden."

Fourth-place finisher Hjalmar Mellander might have medaled, except that on his best jump (6.585) he took off almost a half-metre behind the board. Third-place finisher Hugo Friend had been the 1905 AAU champion but would achieve his greatest fame as a judge in his hometown of Chicago. He played a part in the American sporting drama of the trial of the Black Sox - the Chicago White Sox team which was accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. Friend was the judge at the trial which acquitted the Black Sox players.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal D
1 Meyer Prinstein 27 United States USA Gold 7.200
2 Peter O'Connor 33 Great Britain GBR Silver 7.025
3 Hugo Friend 23 United States USA Bronze 6.960
4 Hjalmar Mellander 25 Sweden SWE 6.585
5 Sidney Abrahams 21 Great Britain GBR 6.210
6 Tom Cronan 20 United States USA 6.185
7 Gunnar Rönström 22 Sweden SWE 6.150
8 István Somodi 20 Hungary HUN 6.045
9 Vasilios Stournaras Greece GRE 6.030
10 Pál Vargha Hungary HUN 5.970
11 Julius Wagner 23 Germany GER 5.950
12 Johannes Runge 28 Germany GER 5.900
13 Nikolaos Andreadakis Greece GRE 5.900
14 Martin Brustmann 20 Germany GER 5.850
15 Otto Bock Denmark DEN 5.770
16 Paul Weinstein 28 Germany GER 5.725
17 Gaspare Torretta Italy ITA 5.650
18 Gustav Krojer 20 Austria AUT 5.625
19 L. Leon Greece GRE 5.585
20 Otto Hahnel-Kohout Bohemia BOH 5.575
21 Aage Petersen 22 Denmark DEN 5.555
22 Niels Løw 24 Denmark DEN 5.470
23 Karl Lampelmayer Austria AUT 5.385
24 Arthur Mallwitz 25 Germany GER 5.380
25 Francis Connolly 19 United States USA 5.280
26 A. Priftis Greece GRE 5.235
AC James B. Connolly 37 United States USA NM