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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Decathlon

Athletics at the 1956 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 29, 1956
Date Finished: November 30, 1956
Format: Scoring by 1950 point tables.

Gold: USA Milt Campbell
Silver: USA Rafer Johnson
Bronze: URS Vasily Kuznetsov

Summary

With Bob Mathias retired, the top two Americans were Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson. Campbell had won the silver medal in 1952 and won the 1953 AAU Championship. Johnson began contesting the decathlon in 1954, broke the world record and won the Pan-American Games in 1955, and won the 1956 AAU/Olympic Trials, with Campbell second. But at Melbourne, Johnson was slightly injured, with a bad knee. But Campbell would have been difficult to beat, even if Johnson was at his best, as he won the gold medal by 350 points. Johnson later commented, “I lost to a good man.” The bronze medal went to the Soviet decathlete, Vasily Kuznetsov, who had won the 1954 European Championships.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal P(1952HT) P(1985HT) P(1985AT)
1 Milt Campbell 22 United States USA Gold 7,937 7.565 7.614 OR
2 Rafer Johnson 21 United States USA Silver 7,587 7.422 7.457
3 Vasily Kuznetsov 24 Soviet Union URS Bronze 7,465 7.330 7.337
4 Uno Palu 23 Soviet Union URS 6,930 7.028 7.055
5 Martin Lauer 19 Germany GER 6,853 6.910 6.914
6 Walter Meier 29 Germany GER 6,773 6.910 6.929
7 Torbjörn Lassenius 25 Finland FIN 6,565 6.782 6.806
8 Yang C. K. 23 Chinese Taipei TPE 6,521 6.697 6.736
9 Pat Leane 26 Australia AUS 6,427 6.695 6.723
10 John Cann 18 Australia AUS 6,278 6.550 6.567
11 Ian Bruce 21 Australia AUS 6,025 6.410 6.431
12 Nadjmeddin Farabi Iran IRI 5,103 5.711 5.733
AC Bob Richards 30 United States USA DNF
AC Yuriy Kutenko 24 Soviet Union URS DNF
AC Walter Herssens 26 Belgium BEL DNF