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