Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 24, 1908
Date Finished: July 24, 1908
The finals saw four nations competing, all with rich swimming traditions, and all with a chance to win the relay gold medal. After one leg, Hungary's [József Munk] led by four yards in 2:40.8. [Frank Beaurepaire] (AUS) was 2nd with [Rob Derbyshire] 3rd (GBR) and [Harry Hebner] (USA) in last. [Imre Zachár] swam the second leg for Hungary and increased the lead, reaching 400 metres in 5:27.2, 8 yards ahead of [Paul Radmilovic] of Britain.
The third leg saw Hungary maintain its lead, with [Béla von Las-Torres] finishing 600 metres in 8:10.0, leading by 6 yards. But now in second was the United States, as [Charlie Daniels] swam a great leg to pass Britain's [Willie Foster]. They finished their legs, respectively, in 8:15.2 and 8:18.6. The race appeared to be over, with Hungary's redoubtable [Zoltán von Halmay] swimming their anchor leg. But mainly a sprinter, he went out far too fast, leading [Leslie Rich] (USA) by 15 yards after 700 metres, with Britain's [Henry Taylor] another 5 yards back. Taylor caught Rich with 50 metres left and pulled away from him. Halmay was now a shambles and swam into the wall only 20 metres from the finish, also allowing Taylor to pass him and win by 3 yards.