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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 27, 1956
Date Finished: November 29, 1956

Gold: GBR Chris Brasher
Silver: HUN Sándor Rozsnyói
Bronze: NOR Ernst Larsen

Summary

There was finally an official world record as the IAAF recognized the steeplechase record in 1954, the first ratified mark being set by Sándor Rozsnyói (HUN) who ran 8:49.6 in winning the 1954 European Championships. That was actually slower than several other previous marks, notably the Olympic record set by Horace Ashenfelter in 1952 (8:45.4). By the time of the Melbourne Olympics, that had been bettered six times, the mark standing at 8:39.8 set by Semyon Rzhishchin in August 1956. Ashenfelter was back but would not qualify for the final. The race was a close group finish over the last lap, six runners remaining together. Norway's Ernst Larsen had taken the early lead and would not be caught until two laps remained. On the final lap, Britain's Chris Brasher saw an opening on the inside and moved past Larsen, brushing him as he did, and pulled away to win. Shortly after the finish, Brasher was initially disqualified for this move. But the disqualification was appealed and all the other runners supported Brasher, including Larsen, who said it had made no difference. Brasher is well-known among track fans as one of the pacers who supported Roger Bannister during his world record attempt in 1954 that resulted in the breaking of the four-minute mile barrier.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Chris Brasher 28 Great Britain GBR Gold OR
2 Sándor Rozsnyói 25 Hungary HUN Silver
3 Ernst Larsen 30 Norway NOR Bronze
4 Heinz Laufer 31 Germany GER
5 Semyon Rzhishchin 23 Soviet Union URS
6 John Disley 28 Great Britain GBR
7 Neil Robbins 27 Australia AUS
8 Eric Shirley 27 Great Britain GBR
9 Deacon Jones 22 United States USA
5 h1 r1/2 Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak 27 Poland POL
6 h1 r1/2 Horace Ashenfelter 33 United States USA
6 h2 r1/2 Gunnar Karlsson-Tjörnebo 29 Sweden SWE
7 h1 r1/2 Vasily Vlasenko 28 Soviet Union URS
7 h2 r1/2 Ilkka Auer 26 Finland FIN
8 h1 r1/2 Georgios Papavasileiou 25 Greece GRE
8 h2 r1/2 László Jeszenszky 29 Hungary HUN
9 h1 r1/2 Yevgeny Kadyaykin 28 Soviet Union URS
9 h2 r1/2 Phil Coleman 25 United States USA
10 h1 r1/2 Graham Thomas 25 Australia AUS
10 h2 r1/2 Ron Blackney 23 Australia AUS
11 h1 r1/2 Olavi Rinteenpää 32 Finland FIN
AC h1 r1/2 Frans Herman 29 Belgium BEL
AC h2 r1/2 Eduardo Fontecilla 27 Chile CHI