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Swimming at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London; White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 13, 1908
Date Finished: July 16, 1908

Gold: GBR Henry Taylor
Silver: ANZ Frank Beaurepaire
Bronze: AUT Otto Scheff

Summary

There was no official world record at this time. The two favorites were Henry Taylor and Frank Beaurepaire. Taylor had won the mile race and finished 2nd in the 400 metres at the 1906 Athens Olympics. He had won the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) title at 440 yards in 1906-1907, but in 1908, Beaurepaire took the championship. The defending Olympic champion at this distance was also present, the Austrian Otto Scheff. The top American swimmer, Charlie Daniels, was entered in this event, but withdrew to save himself for the shorter distance sprint and the relay.

In the final, Taylor had the fastest start. After one lap (100 metres in 1:15.0), Taylor, Beaurepaire, and Scheff were in a virtual dead heat. The 200 metres was passed in 2:35 by Taylor, leading Scheff, who was clocked at 2:37.0. Beaurepaire then came up quickly, and after 300 metres, he and Taylor were equal at 4:10.0. But the effort exhausted the Australian as Taylor drew away to win by at least 5 yards. Austria entered a protest in Scheff's behalf, claiming that he was fouled in the final, but it was disallowed.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Henry Taylor 23 Great Britain GBR Gold WR
2 Frank Beaurepaire 16 Australasia ANZ Silver
3 Otto Scheff 18 Austria AUT Bronze
4 Willie Foster 17 Great Britain GBR
3 h1 r2/3 Sydney Battersby 20 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r2/3 Paul Radmilovic 22 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r2/3 Béla von Las-Torres 18 Hungary HUN
4 h2 r2/3 Imre Zachár 17 Hungary HUN
5 h1 r2/3 Henrik Hajós 21 Hungary HUN
1 h3 r1/3 Theo Tartakover Australasia ANZ
2 h2 r1/3 Robert Andersson 21 Sweden SWE
2 h4 r1/3 Sam Blatherwick 19 Great Britain GBR
2 h5 r1/3 Aage Holm 18 Denmark DEN
2 h6 r1/3 Frank Springfield 20 Australasia ANZ
2 h7 r1/3 William Haynes Great Britain GBR
2 h9 r1/3 Arthur Sharp Great Britain GBR
3 h1 r1/3 Budd Goodwin 24 United States USA
3 h4 r1/3 Conrad Trubenbach 25 United States USA
3 h6 r1/3 Mario Massa 15 Italy ITA
3 h7 r1/3 József Ónody 25 Hungary HUN
4 h1 r1/3 Wille Andersson 17 Sweden SWE
AC h1 r1/3 Henri Decoin 18 France FRA DNF
AC h4 r1/3 Davide Baiardo 20 Italy ITA DNF
AC h7 r1/3 Hjalmar Saxtorph 25 Denmark DEN
AC h7 r1/3 Friedrich Meuring 25 Netherlands NED