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Otto Scheff

Full name: Otto Scheff (Sochaczewsky-)
Other name(s): Otto Sheff
Gender: Male
Born: December 12, 1889 in Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Died: October 26, 1956 in Maria Enzersdorf, Niederösterreich, Austria
Affiliations: WAC, Wien (AUT)
Country: AUT Austria
Sport: Swimming, Water Polo

Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Bronze (3 Total)

Biography

Born in Berlin, Germany to the family of Jewish writer Heinrich Sochaczewsky (who published his works under the pseudonym Victor von Falk), Otto Scheff grew up in Wien (Vienna), Austria. Scheff, who was considered the world's premier middle-distance freestyler in the trudgeon stroke era, made his international début in 1905 at the international tournament held in Paris, termed the World Championships, where he was third in the 500 m freestyle behind British David “Boy” Billington and [Eric Forsyth]. Scheff also won the Prix de l’Avenir at that tournament as the best swimmer under 16-years-old. At the 1906 Intercalated Olympics, Scheff won 400 freestyle gold, after a close battle with Britain’s [Henry Taylor], and was third in the mile freestyle. In 1907, Scheff again competed in Paris at the “World Championships”, winning gold in the 500 free.

At the 1908 Olympics, Scheff won bronze in 400 free and reached the final of the 1,500 metres, but abandoned the race after 400 metres. Scheff made his last international appearance at the 1912 Olympics, where he was a member of the Austrian water polo team that finished fourth.

Scheff graduated from the University of Vienna in 1913 with a law degree and later had a successful career as a lawyer. From 1945-53, he was a member of the National Council of Austria (Nationalrat) as a member of Austrian People’s Party and from 1948-56 served as the vice-president of the Austrian Olympic Committee. Scheff was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1988. His daughter Gertraud Scheff also became an international level swimmer, who qualified for the cancelled 1940 Olympics.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Men's 400 metres Freestyle Austria AUT 1 Gold
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Men's One Mile Freestyle Austria AUT 3 Bronze
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Men's 4 × 250 metres Freestyle Relay Austria AUT AC
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Men's 100 metres Freestyle Austria AUT 4 h2 r2/3
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Men's 400 metres Freestyle Austria AUT 3 Bronze
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle Austria AUT AC r3/3 DNF
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Men's Water Polo Austria AUT 4

Men's Water Polo

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Austria AUT Final Round Match 1/2 2 1912-07-13 GBR 8, AUT 0
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Austria AUT Semi-Finals Match #1 1 1912-07-09 AUT 5, HUN 4 1
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Austria AUT Second-Place Tournament Match #1 2 1912-07-14 SWE 8, AUT 1 1
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Austria AUT Third-Place Tournament Match #3 2 1912-07-15 BEL 5, AUT 4 1

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Semi-Finals Heat Two 4
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Round One Heat Two 1 Q 1:11.4

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Austria Final Standings 1 6:24.0
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Final 3 5:46.0
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Semi-Finals Heat One 1 Q/OR 5:40.6
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Round One Heat Seven 1 Q 5:51.0

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Final AC DNF
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Semi-Finals Heat Two 2 Q 24:25.4
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Austria Round One Heat Six 2 q 24:15.8

Men's One Mile Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Austria Final Standings 3 30:53.4

Men's 4 × 250 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 16 Athina Swimming Austria AUT Final Standings AC
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