Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Town Hall, St. Kilda, Victoria
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: November 23, 1956
France, Italy and Hungary, the three medal winning countries from the 1952 Olympics, had won all but one of the 18 men’s team and individual foil medals at the intervening World Championships. In Helsinki the gap in quality between Italy and France had been a chasm but in Melbourne both nations came within a few hits of elimination in the preliminaries before eventually for the final pool.
The status quo was restored when both Italy and France won their first two final stage matches to ensure the title would be decided between them. Despite the presence of individual champion [Christian d'Oriola] in the French team proved the decider in a tense and exciting affair. Before the final bout Italy led 8-7 but France had an unbeatable lead on the tiebreaker of “least hits against” which meant that whichever team won the bout would be champions. [Claude Netter], representing France, built up a lead but was pegged back to 4-4 by [Antonio Spallino]. Spallino then won the decisive hit and the title for Italy. Hungary won the bronze by defeating the USA.