Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, Victoria
Date Started: November 30, 1956
Date Finished: November 30, 1956
Format: Final only.
Canoeing’s 10000 metre distance events appeared for the last time at the 1956 Summer Olympics. [Yrjö Hietanen], one half of the Finnish duo that won the K-2 1000 and 10000 at the 1952 Summer Olympics, returned to the Games in 1956 to defend the latter title, brining [Simo Kuismanen] with him. The only other returning Olympic medalist was runner-up [Hans Wetterström], who was also accompanied by a new partner, [Carl-Gunnar Sundin]. Wetterström and Sundin were also half of the silver medal-winning K-4 10000 crew at the 1954 World Championships. The reigning World Champions were [Herbert Wiedermann] and [Max Raub] of Austria, but they attempted to improve their results in the K-2 1000 from 1952, in which they had won bronze, and thus their nation was represented by [Alfred Schmidtberger] and [Hermann Salzner]. Reigning World bronze medalist Germany sent [Fritz Briel] and [Theo Kleine]. Much of the race was a battle between a leading group of four crews, Sweden, Germany, Hungary’s [János Urányi] and [László Fábián], and Australia’s [Dennis Green] and [Walter Brown] but, as the finish line approached, the Swedes dropped back while Germany and Hungary went neck and neck towards the end. The Hungarians managed a slight advantage and won gold, leaving silver for the Germans and a surprise bronze medal for the Australians.