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Boxing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: GBR Dick McTaggart
Silver: GER Harry Kurschat
Bronze: IRL Tony Byrne
URS Anatoly Lagetko

Summary

The revelation of the 1956 Olympic boxing tournament was a 21-year-old Scotsman who was doing his compulsory military service in the Royal Air Force. Dick McTaggart had a reputation at home for being a skillful and elusive boxer but before leaving for Melbourne he had not transferred this to the international stage. After three relatively easy victories McTaggart found himself facing European champion, Harry Kurschat of Germany, in the Olympic final. Kurschat was perhaps a little lucky to have progressed from the semi-final by winning an unpopular split decision victory over Ireland's Tony Byrne but his luck ran out against McTaggart and it was the Briton who had his hand raised in victory at the end of the three rounds.

McTaggart's performance earned him the Val Barker Trophy as the most stylish boxer of the Games and a hero's welcome in his hometown of Dundee. An eye defect robbed him of the opportunity to turn professional and he would twice return to the Olympic arena, winning bronze in 1960 and going out early in 1964. One notable boxer to miss these Games was Darweesh Mustafa Nassim who had won a silver medal for Egypt at the 1955 European Championships. The Suez crisis made his participation impossible.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Dick McTaggart 21 Great Britain GBR Gold
2 Harry Kurschat 23 Germany GER Silver
3T Tony Byrne 26 Ireland IRL Bronze
3T Anatoly Lagetko 20 Soviet Union URS Bronze
5T Zygmunt Milewski 22 Poland POL
5T Louis Molina 18 United States USA
5T André Vairolatto 22 France FRA
5T Ed Beattie 22 Canada CAN
9T Pentti Niinivuori 25 Finland FIN
9T Celedonio Espinosa Philippines PHI
9T William Griffiths 24 Australia AUS
9T Josef Chovanec Czechoslovakia TCH
9T Baek Do-Seon 26 South Korea KOR
9T Chandrasena Jayasuriya Sri Lanka SRI
9T Sub Chundakowsolya Thailand THA
9T Toshihito Ishimaru 25 Japan JPN
17T Paddy Donovan 19 New Zealand NZL
17T Francisco Núñez 32 Argentina ARG