Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Los Angeles Police Pistol Range, Elysian Park, Los Angeles, California; Olympic Park Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles, California; Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California; State Armory of the 160th Infantry, Olympic Park, Los Angeles, California; Sunset Fields Golf Club, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 2, 1932
Date Finished: August 6, 1932
Format: Point-for-place scoring.
Still with no real way to choose favorites because of the lack of international competition, or an International Federation, the 1924 and 1928 Swedish gold medalists were back – Bo Lindman (1924) and Sven Thofelt (1928). Sweden had won all the medals in this event since 1912, except for the bronze won in 1928 by Germany’s Helmuth Kahl, so they were expected to be strong. Lindman had lost the 1928 gold medal because of poor performances in shooting and fencing, placing only 15th with the pistol and 22nd with the sword. But in 1932 he started strongly by winning the horse steeplechase and placing equal second with the sword. After two phases he narrowly led America’s Richard Mayo. But shooting was again a problem for Lindman, as he placed 19th with the pistol. Mayo, who was a lieutenant in the Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, won that event with 197 points, to take a big lead after three phases – 7½ points over Carlo Simonetti of Italy in second at 17, Sweden’s Johan Oxenstierna in third with 20, and Lindman now fourth. But Mayo struggled in the final two sports, placing 14th in the swim and 17th in the cross-country run. He would hang on for a bronze medal, the first ever in modern pentathlon for the USA. The gold went to Oxenstierna, who placed fifth in the swim and seventh running. He was the first Naval officer to win the modern pentathlon. Mayo still led after swimming, but Oxenstierna and Lindman passed him with their run placements.
Lindman’s silver medal was his third in modern pentathlon, following gold in 1924 and silver in 1928. Sven Thofelt placed fourth, hampered by his riding score, in which his horse fell three times. The seventh-place finisher, Elemér Somfay (HUN), had competed in track & field athletics at the 1924 Olympics in the pentathlon and decathlon, winning a silver medal in pentathlon. Somfay fell in the riding, which cost him a better placing. Portugal's Sebastião Herédia was hampered by a very poor score in the opening phase, riding. His horse, Dan Anthony, went out of control and bolted from the course, running for over three miles before handlers could get him under control. Herédia was given another attempt on Dan Anthony, but the horse again bolted and ran away from the course.
|3||Richard Mayo||30||United States||USA||Bronze||38.5|
|8||Percy Legard||26||Great Britain||GBR||53.0|
|11||Brookner Brady||27||United States||USA||56.0|
|13||Clayton Mansfield||26||United States||USA||60.5|
|14||Vernon Barlow||22||Great Britain||GBR||61.0|
|15||Jeffrey MacDougall||20||Great Britain||GBR||62.0|
|16||Willem van Rhijn||29||Netherlands||NED||63.0|
|22||Rafael de Sousa||Portugal||POR||102.0|