| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Men

Date13 – 16 July 1908
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants25 from 10 countries

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.

1Henry TaylorGBR5:42.2 (1 h6)5:41.0 (2 h1)5:36.8 (1)Gold
2Frank BeaurepaireANZ5:49.2 (1 h4)5:44.0 (1 h2)5:44.2 (2)Silver
3Otto ScheffAUT5:51.0 (1 h7)5:40.6 (1 h1)5:46.0 (3)Bronze
4Willie FosterGBR5:54.8 (1 h2)5:52.2 (2 h2)– (4)
3 h1 r2/3Sydney BattersbyGBR5:48.8 (1 h1)at 4 yards (3 h1)
3 h2 r2/3Paul RadmilovicGBR6:10.0 (1 h5)at 8 yards (3 h2)
4 h1 r2/3Béla Las-TorresHUN5:52.2 (2 h1)– (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3Imre ZachárHUN6:09.8 (1 h8)– (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3Henrik HajósHUN6:19.8 (1 h9)– (5 h1)
1 h3 r1/3Theo TartakoverANZ6:35.0 (1 h3)– (DNS h2)
2 h2 r1/3Robert AnderssonSWE6:28.0 (2 h2)
2 h4 r1/3Sam BlatherwickGBR6:16.8 (2 h4)
2 h5 r1/3Aage HolmDEN8:08.8 (2 h5)
2 h6 r1/3Frank SpringfieldANZ5:57.4 (2 h6)
2 h7 r1/3William HaynesGBR6:21.2 (2 h7)
2 h9 r1/3Archibald SharpGBR7:00.4 (2 h9)
3 h1 r1/3Budd GoodwinUSA– (3 h1)
3 h4 r1/3Conrad TrubenbachUSA– (3 h4)
3 h6 r1/3Mario MassaITAat 50 yards (3 h6)
3 h7 r1/3József ÓnodyHUN– (3 h7)
4 h1 r1/3Wille AnderssonSWE– (4 h1)
AC h1 r1/3Henri DecoinFRA– (DNF h1)DNF
AC h4 r1/3Davide BaiardoITA– (DNF h4)DNF
AC h7 r1/3Hjalmar SaxtorphDEN– (AC h7)
AC h7 r1/3Friedrich MeuringNED– (AC h7)
DNSSnowy BakerANZ– (DNS h8)
DNSEdward CookeANZ– (DNS h1)
DNSVictor BoinBEL– (DNS h5)
DNSFernand FeyaertsBEL– (DNS h8)
DNSAndré TheurietFRA– (DNS h6)
DNSC. RegalFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSE. RenouFRA– (DNS h2)
DNSF. RouxFRA– (DNS h4)
DNSFred UnwinGBR– (DNS h3)
DNSZoltán HalmayHUN– (DNS h8)
DNSGéza KissHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSSándor ÁdámHUN– (DNS h6)
DNSAlajos BrucknerHUN– (DNS h9)
DNSLóránt AporHUN– (DNS h2)
DNSJenő Hégner-TóthHUN– (DNS h4)
DNSZoltán TóbiásHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSV. de StephanisITA– (DNS h2)
DNSA. GonzaniITA– (DNS h9)
DNSMax GumpelSWE– (DNS h5)
DNSGunnar WennerströmSWE– (DNS h3)
DNSS. D. LarssonSWE– (DNS h9)
DNSCharlie DanielsUSA– (DNS h3)
DNSRobert FosterUSA– (DNS h8)
DNSHarry HebnerUSA– (DNS h2)
DNSLeslie RichUSA– (DNS h5)

Round One (13 – 14 July 1908)

Winners of heats and fastest loser advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One (13 July 1908 — 16:00)

1Sydney BattersbyGBR5:48.8QOR
2Béla Las-TorresHUN5:52.2q
3Budd GoodwinUSA
4Wille AnderssonSWE
DNFHenri DecoinFRA
DNSEdward CookeANZ

Heat Two (13 July 1908 — 16:00)

1Willie FosterGBR5:54.8Q
2Robert AnderssonSWE6:28.0
DNSLóránt AporHUN
DNSV. de StephanisITA
DNSHarry HebnerUSA

Heat Three (13 July 1908 — 16:00)

1Theo TartakoverANZ6:35.0Q
DNSFred UnwinGBR
DNSZoltán TóbiásHUN
DNSGunnar WennerströmSWE
DNSCharlie DanielsUSA

Heat Four (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Frank BeaurepaireANZ5:49.2Q
2Sam BlatherwickGBR6:16.8
3Conrad TrubenbachUSA
DNFDavide BaiardoITA
DNSJenő Hégner-TóthHUN

Heat Five (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Paul RadmilovicGBR6:10.0Q
2Aage HolmDEN8:08.8
DNSVictor BoinBEL
DNSMax GumpelSWE
DNSLeslie RichUSA

Heat Six (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Henry TaylorGBR5:42.2QOR
2Frank SpringfieldANZ5:57.4
3Mario MassaITAat 50 yards
DNSAndré TheurietFRA
DNSSándor ÁdámHUN

Heat Seven (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Otto ScheffAUT5:51.0Q
2William HaynesGBR6:21.2
3József ÓnodyHUN
ACFriedrich MeuringNED
ACHjalmar SaxtorphDEN

Heat Eight (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Imre ZachárHUN6:09.8Q
DNSSnowy BakerANZ
DNSFernand FeyaertsBEL
DNSZoltán HalmayHUN
DNSRobert FosterUSA

Heat Nine (14 July 1908 — 16:45)

1Henrik HajósHUN6:19.8Q
2Archibald SharpGBR7:00.4
DNSAlajos BrucknerHUN
DNSA. GonzaniITA
DNSS. D. LarssonSWE

Semi-Finals (15 July 1908 — 11:00)

Top two in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Otto ScheffAUT5:40.6QOR
2Henry TaylorGBR5:41.0Q
3Sydney BattersbyGBRat 4 yards
4Béla Las-TorresHUN
5Henrik HajósHUN

Heat Two

1Frank BeaurepaireANZ5:44.0Q
2Willie FosterGBR5:52.2Q
3Paul RadmilovicGBRat 8 yards
4Imre ZachárHUN
DNSTheo TartakoverANZ

Final (16 July 1908 — 16:15)

1Henry TaylorGBR5:36.8WR
2Frank BeaurepaireANZ5:44.2
3Otto ScheffAUT5:46.0
4Willie FosterGBR