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