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Swimming at the 1906 Athina Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1906 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Faliron Bay, Peiraias
Date Started: April 27, 1906
Date Finished: April 27, 1906
Format: Final only.

Gold: AUT Otto Scheff
Silver: GBR Henry Taylor
Bronze: GBR John Jarvis

Summary

Barney Kieran had won the 1905 ASA title at this distance, but the 1906-07 champion would be Britain's Henry Taylor. The AAU champion from 1906-10 was Charlie Daniels, who was entered but withdrew (see below). The world record was held by Kieran with 5:19.0.

After being postponed due to the weather, the 400-meter freestyle was finally finished on Friday morning, 27 April 14 April]. The event turned out to be a great battle between three swimmers: the young 16-year-old Austrian, [Otto Scheff and John Jarvis. Near the finish, Scheff and Taylor pulled away from Jarvis and they battled it out, with Scheff barely winning by two seconds. It was the closest swimming event at the 1906 Olympic Games.

Charlie Daniels entered the 400-meter freestyle but did not compete. This event was originally scheduled to take place on the same day, and just before, the freestyle relay. Daniels, and his teammate, Joseph Spencer, who was also entered in the 400-meters, elected to withdraw from the 400-meters and save themselves for the relay. With the delays due to the weather, this would turn out to be unnecessary. It is probable that Daniels would have been a strong contender for the gold medal in the 400-meters.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal M T
1 Otto Scheff 16 Austria AUT Gold 6:24.0
2 Henry Taylor 21 Great Britain GBR Silver 6:26.0
3 John Jarvis 34 Great Britain GBR Bronze at 2 yards
4 Alajos Bruckner 16 Hungary HUN
5 Paul Radmilovic 20 Great Britain GBR
6 Cecil Healy 24 Australia AUS disappointing
AC Rob Derbyshire 27 Great Britain GBR
AC Zoltán Tóbiás Hungary HUN
AC Vasilios Leontopoulos Greece GRE DNF
AC Konstantinos Kleinias Greece GRE DNF
AC Konstantinos Panteleskos Greece GRE DNF
AC Hjalmar Saxtorph 23 Denmark DEN DNF
AC Frank Bornamann 29 United States USA DNF