Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Faliron Bay, Peiraias
Date Started: April 28, 1906
Date Finished: April 28, 1906
Format: Final only.
The 4 x 250-metre freestyle relay was originally scheduled for 26 April [13 April]. Because of the weather that twice caused delays at the Bay of Neo Phaliron, it was postponed until 28 April [15 April]. The strong British quartet of [William Henry], [Rob Derbyshire], [Henry Taylor] and [John Jarvis] started as favourites but it was the Hungarian [JÃ³zsef Ãnody] who set the early pace, leading at the first 125-metre turn. However, at the end of the first leg, it was Germany who led from Hungary with Austria in third and Great Britain fourth. The positions remained the same after the second leg and the teams were still in that order at the turn on leg three before the Austrian [Simon Orlik] lost his direction on the way back, swimming into the open sea, and enabling Great Britain to move into third place. The Germans, who had led the race since the first turn still, held their lead coming up to the 875-metres mark, but the race ended in an easy victory for the Hungarians, led by their anchor swimmer, [ZoltÃ¡n von Halmay]. They were almost 24 seconds ahead of the second place German team, with Great Britain third.
For many years it was not known what format the relay took but the discovery of an article in the Austrian newspaper Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung from 1906 revealed that not only did the race take place in an "unruly" sea with high waves in the open bay, but the swimmers swam out to a 125 m turning point before returning to the start and after each swimmer had completed 250 m, handed over to the next member of their team.