Swimming at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metre freestyle

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Men's 400 metre freestyle
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
Venue White City Stadium
Dates July 13–16
Competitors 25 from 10 nations
Medalists
Gold medal    Great Britain
Silver medal    Australasia
Bronze medal    Austria
«1904
(440 yd)
1912»
Swimming at the
1908 Summer Olympics
Sample picture of the event (unofficial)
Freestyle
100 m   men    
400 m men
1500 m men
Backstroke
100 m men
Breaststroke
200 m men
Freestyle relay
4×200 m men

The men's 400 metre freestyle was one of six swimming events on the swimming at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme. Its distance was the median of the 3 individual freestyle event distances. It was the first time an event over 400 metres was held at the Olympics (after a 440-yard contest was held in 1904). The competition was held from Monday July 13, 1908 to Thursday July 16, 1908.

Twenty-five swimmers from ten nations competed.

Records[edit]

These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.

World Record  ?  ?
Olympic Record 6:16.2(*) United States Charles Daniels St. Louis (USA) September 7, 1904

(*) 440 yards (= 402.34 m)

In the final Henry Taylor set the first official world record for this distance in 5:36.8 minutes.

Results[edit]

First round[edit]

The fastest swimmer in each heat and the fastest loser advanced, qualifying 10 swimmers for the semifinals.

Heat 1

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Thomas Battersby (GBR) 5:48.8 QS
2  Béla Las-Torres (HUN) 5:52.2 qs
3  Leo Goodwin (USA) Unknown
4  Vilhelm Andersson (SWE) Unknown
 Henri Decoin (FRA) Did not finish

Heat 2

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  William Foster (GBR) 5:54.8 QS
2  Robert Andersson (SWE) 6:28.0

Heat 3

Tartakover had no competition in the third heat.

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Theodore Tartakover (ANZ) 6:35.0 QS

Heat 4

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ) 5:49.2 QS
2  Sam Blatherwick (GBR) 6:16.8
3  Conrad Trubenbach (USA) Unknown
 Davide Baiardo (ITA) Did not finish

Heat 5

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Paul Radmilovic (GBR) 6:10.0 QS
2  Aage Holm (DEN) 8:08.8

Heat 6

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Henry Taylor (GBR) 5:42.2 QS
2  Frank Springfield (ANZ) 5:57.4
3  Mario Massa (ITA) Unknown

Heat 7

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Otto Scheff (AUT) 5:51.0 QS
2  William Haynes (GBR) 6:21.2
3  József Ónody (HUN) Unknown
4-5  Frits Meuring (NED) Unknown
 Hjalmar Saxtorph (DEN) Unknown

Heat 8

Zachár had no competition in the eighth heat.

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Imre Zachár (HUN) 6:09.8 QS

Heat 9

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Henrik Hajós (HUN) 6:19.8 QS
2  Arthur Sharp (GBR) 7:00.4

Semifinals[edit]

The fastest two swimmers from each semifinal advanced to the final.

Semifinal 1

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Otto Scheff (AUT) 5:40.6 QF
2  Henry Taylor (GBR) 5:41.0 QF
3  Thomas Battersby (GBR) Unknown
4  Béla Las-Torres (HUN) Unknown
5  Henrik Hajós (HUN) Unknown

Semifinal 2

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ) 5:44.0 QF
2  William Foster (GBR) 5:52.2 QF
3  Paul Radmilovic (GBR) Unknown
 Imre Zachár (HUN) Did not finish
 Theodore Tartakover (ANZ) Did not start

Final[edit]

Place Swimmer Time
1  Henry Taylor (GBR) 5:36.8
2  Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ) 5:44.2
3  Otto Scheff (AUT) 5:46.0
4  William Foster (GBR) Unknown

Sources[edit]

  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association. 
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Swimming 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 13 May 2006.