Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 27, 1906
Date Finished: April 27, 1906
Format: Final only.
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.
|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|
|5||Sidney Abrahams||21||Great Britain||GBR||6.210|
|6||Tom Cronan||20||United States||USA||6.185|
|25||Francis Connolly||19||United States||USA||5.280|
|AC||James B. Connolly||37||United States||USA||NM|