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Fencing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Sabre, Individual

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Town Hall, St. Kilda, Victoria
Date Started: December 5, 1956
Date Finished: December 5, 1956

Gold: HUN Rudolf Kárpáti
Silver: POL Jerzy Pawłowski
Bronze: URS Lev Kuznetsov


The Hungarian domination of the sabre had continued almost unchallenged since 1920 but in 1956 it was threatened by the political upheaval that engulfed the country in the last few months before the Melbourne Games. The team left for Melbourne shortly after Soviet troops entered Budapest and with fighting still going on in the streets.

Unlike Helsinki this was not a Hungarian sweep of the medals as the champions of 1948 and 1952, [Aladár Gerevich] and [Pál Kovács] respectively, faltered in the final pool. The nation's tradition was instead upheld by [Rudolf Kárpáti] who was competing as an individual for the first time after winning team gold in 1948 and 1952. Kárpáti's six victories out of seven in the pool was one more than the total achieved by Poland's [Jerzy Pawłowski] who took silver. The bronze medal was won, after a barrage, by [Lev Kuznetsov] who became the Soviet Union's first individual fencing medallist.

The lives of the gold and silver medallists were to go in vastly different ways. Kárpáti returned to Hungary, unlike many of his team mates, and flourished under the new government. He retained his Olympic title in 1960 then, in retirement, rose to become head of the national fencing federation.

Pawłowski, a major in the Polish Army, would win gold 12 years later in Mexico but was later revealed to be working for the CIA. After the discovery of his espionage he spent 12 years in prison.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Rudolf Kárpáti 36 Hungary HUN Gold
2 Jerzy Pawłowski 24 Poland POL Silver
3 Lev Kuznetsov 26 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Jacques Lefèvre 28 France FRA
5 Aladár Gerevich 46 Hungary HUN
6T Wojciech Zabłocki 25 Poland POL
6T Pál Kovács 44 Hungary HUN
6T Luigi Narduzzi Italy ITA
5 p1 r3/4 Yevhen Cherepovskiy 22 Soviet Union URS
5 p2 r3/4 Roberto Ferrari 33 Italy ITA
6 p1 r3/4 Günter Stratmann 25 Germany GER
6 p2 r3/4 Jacques Roulot 23 France FRA
7 p1 r3/4 Allan Kwartler 39 United States USA
7 p2 r3/4 George Worth 41 United States USA
8 p1 r3/4 Gastone Darè 38 Italy ITA
8 p2 r3/4 Marcel Van Der Auwera 33 Belgium BEL
5 p1 r2/4 Yakov Rylsky 28 Soviet Union URS
5 p2 r2/4 Olgierd Porebski 34 Great Britain GBR
5 p3 r2/4 Tibor Nyilas 42 United States USA
5 p4 r2/4 Ralph Cooperman 29 Great Britain GBR
6 p1 r2/4 Teodoro Goliardi 29 Uruguay URU
6 p2 r2/4 Marek Kuszewski 23 Poland POL
6 p3 r2/4 Bill Hoskyns 25 Great Britain GBR
6 p4 r2/4 Claude Gamot 23 France FRA
7 p1 r2/4 Benito Ramos 38 Mexico MEX
7 p2 r2/4 Emilio Echeverry 27 Colombia COL
7 p3 r2/4 Graham McKenzie Australia AUS
7 p4 r2/4 Leslie Fadgyas 39 Australia AUS
5 p1 r1/4 Masayuki Sano 37 Japan JPN
5 p2 r1/4 Alfredo Yanguas Colombia COL
5 p3 r1/4 Roland Asselin 39 Canada CAN
5 p4 r1/4 Roger Theisen 24 Luxembourg LUX
6 p1 r1/4 Sandor Szoke 30 Australia AUS
6 p3 r1/4 José del Carmen Colombia COL
6 p4 r1/4 Siha Sukarno Indonesia INA