Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Golf Course, Wannsee, Berlin; House of Sports, Cupola Hall, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin; Military Exercise Field, Döberitz, Brandenburg; Shooting Stands, Ruhleben, Berlin; Swimming Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 2, 1936
Date Finished: August 6, 1936
Format: Point-for-place scoring.
With the lack of international competition, it was again very difficult to handicap the event. Sweden had won 13 of the 15 medals awarded in Olympic competition since 1912, so they were expected to be tough. There had been a European Championship in 1935, won by Nándor von Orbán (HUN), but nothing else is known of the competition. The 1928 champion, Sven Thofelt (SWE), was back and also competed in fencing in 1936, in which he won a medal in team épée. Silvano Abba (ITA) took the early lead, winning the horse steeplechase, with Germany’s Gotthardt Handrick and Belgium’s Raoul Mollet tying for second. Handrick then placed second in épée fencing and took a big lead with only 4½ points after two phases. The third phase was rapid-fire pistol shooting and Charles Leonard (USA) scored big here, winning the competition with the first ever possible of 200 in modern pentathlon rapid-fire pistol shooting. This moved him into fourth place overall but Handrick was still well ahead. Handrick maintained his lead after the swim, followed by Thofelt, who moved into second, placing third in the swim. Leonard was sixth in the 300 metre freestyle to move into the bronze medal position after four days of competition. The cross-country run was won by Austria’s Karl Leban, although it only served to move him from 35th to 26th place. Handrick placed 14th in the run, but was not really challenged for the gold medal. Leonard tied for seventh running to move up to a silver medal, followed by Abba, who won the bronze medal, with Thofelt falling to fourth (as in 1932) with a 24th place finish in the run. For the first time ever, no Swede won a medal.
Handrick soon afterwards became a fighter pilot with the “Legion Condor,” a squadron of German volunteers for the Fascist cause in the Spanish Civil War. Between this and WW II he claimed 15 victories in aerial combat. Abba, who won the riding section of the Modern Pentathlon, was killed during the Battle of Izbushensky, where the 700 riders of the Italian Army’s Savoy Cavalry mounted the last successful cavalry charge in military history.
|2||Charles Leonard||23||United States||USA||Silver||39.5|
|5||Nándor von Orbán||26||Hungary||HUN||55.5|
|7||Alfred Starbird||24||United States||USA||67.5|
|8||Rezső von Bartha||23||Hungary||HUN||76.5|
|9||Frederick Weber||30||United States||USA||79.0|
|10||Georg von Boisman||25||Sweden||SWE||82.5|
|13||Jeffrey MacDougall||24||Great Britain||GBR||91.0|
|17||Édouard Écuyer de le Court||34||Belgium||BEL||94.5|
|18||Alexander, Jonkheer van Geen||32||Netherlands||NED||101.5|
|19||Percy Legard||30||Great Britain||GBR||104.5|
|21||Lajos von Sipeki-von Balás||22||Hungary||HUN||108.5|
|29||Johannes van der Horst||26||Netherlands||NED||117.5|
|31||Archibald Jack||23||Great Britain||GBR||119.0|
|36||Guilherme Catramby Filho||31||Brazil||BRA||159.5|
|39||Anísio da Rocha||23||Brazil||BRA||177.5|