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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Events: 33

Participants: 720 (573 men and 147 women) from 59 countries
Youngest Participant: USA Meredith Ellis (15 years, 82 days)
Oldest Participant: USA Leo Sjogren (42 years, 236 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (31 medals)

Overview

The Melbourne Olympics were the first Games held in the Southern Hemisphere and were held at the end of November, and finished in December. Athletics was conducted at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. The stars of the Games were both sprinters. Bobby Joe Morrow won the 100, 200, and anchored the 4x100 relay for the United States. But receiving most of the acclaim was his female counterpart, Betty Cuthbert, of the host nation, who duplicated his feat in winning three gold medals. Vladimir Kuts of the USSR won the first gold medal for a male athlete from that nation, doubling in the 5 and 10K. On the field Al Oerter won the first of four consecutive gold medals in the discus throw. His teammate, Hal Connolly, won the hammer throw in a highly anticipated battle against Soviet Mikhail Krivonosov, who placed second. During the 1956 Olympics, Connolly also met Czech discus thrower Olga Fikotová, and they began a romance that ended with them marrying later in 1957. Emil Zátopek served as best man at the wedding in Praha.

Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres USA Bobby Joe Morrow USA Thane Baker AUS Hec Hogan
Men's 200 metres USA Bobby Joe Morrow USA Andy Stanfield USA Thane Baker
Men's 400 metres USA Charlie Jenkins GER Karl-Friedrich Haas FIN Voitto Hellstén
URS Ardalion Ignatyev
Men's 800 metres USA Tom Courtney GBR Derek Johnson NOR Audun Boysen
Men's 1,500 metres IRL Ronnie Delany GER Klaus Richtzenhain AUS John Landy
Men's 5,000 metres URS Volodymyr Kuts GBR Gordon Pirie GBR Derek Ibbotson
Men's 10,000 metres URS Volodymyr Kuts HUN József Kovács AUS Allan Lawrence
Men's Marathon FRA Alain Mimoun YUG Franjo Mihalić FIN Veikko Karvonen
Men's 110 metres Hurdles USA Lee Calhoun USA Jack Davis USA Joel Shankle
Men's 400 metres Hurdles USA Glenn Davis USA Eddie Southern USA Josh Culbreath
Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase GBR Chris Brasher HUN Sándor Rozsnyói NOR Ernst Larsen
Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay USA United States URS Soviet Union GER Germany
Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay USA United States AUS Australia GBR Great Britain
Men's 20 kilometres Walk URS Leonid Spirin URS Antanas Mikėnas URS Bruno Junk
Men's 50 kilometres Walk NZL Norman Read URS Yevgeny Maskinskov SWE John Ljunggren
Men's High Jump USA Charlie Dumas AUS Charles Porter URS Igor Kashkarov
Men's Pole Vault USA Bob Richards USA Bob Gutowski GRE Georgios Roubanis
Men's Long Jump USA Greg Bell USA John Bennett FIN Jorma Valkama
Men's Triple Jump BRA Adhemar da Silva ISL Vilhjálmur Einarsson URS Vitold Kreyer
Men's Shot Put USA Parry O'Brien USA Bill Nieder TCH Jiří Skobla
Men's Discus Throw USA Al Oerter USA Fortune Gordien USA Des Koch
Men's Hammer Throw USA Hal Connolly URS Mikhail Krivonosov URS Anatoly Samotsvetov
Men's Javelin Throw NOR Egil Danielsen POL Janusz Sidło URS Viktor Tsybulenko
Men's Decathlon USA Milt Campbell USA Rafer Johnson URS Vasily Kuznetsov
Women's 100 metres AUS Betty Cuthbert GER Christa Stubnick AUS Marlene Mathews-Willard
Women's 200 metres AUS Betty Cuthbert GER Christa Stubnick AUS Marlene Mathews-Willard
Women's 80 metres Hurdles AUS Shirley Strickland de la Hunty GER Gisela Köhler-Birkemeyer AUS Norma Thrower
Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay AUS Australia GBR Great Britain USA United States
Women's High Jump USA Millie McDaniel GBR Thelma Hopkins
URS Mariya Pisareva
Women's Long Jump POL Elżbieta Krzesińska-Duńska USA Willye White URS Nadezhda Khnik'ina-Dvalishvili
Women's Shot Put URS Tamara Tyshkevich URS Galina Zybina GER Marianne Werner
Women's Discus Throw TCH Olga Fikotová-Connolly URS Irina Beglyakova URS Nina Romashkova-Ponomaryova
Women's Javelin Throw URS Inese Jaunzeme CHI Marlene Ahrens URS Nadezhda Konyayeva