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Modern Pentathlon at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Individual

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Merrett Rifle Range, Williamstown, Victoria; Oaklands Hunt Club, Broadmeadows, Victoria; Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria; Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: November 28, 1956
Format: Scoring by point tables.

Gold: SWE Lars Hall
Silver: FIN Ole Mannonen
Bronze: FIN Wäinö Korhonen

Summary

The defending champion Lars Hall, was back, but he had not competed at the World Championships since the 1952 Olympics, and was only selected for the Swedish team in October 1956 when he won the Swedish Championship. Nobody had stood out in the interim, as the nine medals at the 1953-55 World Championships were won by nine different athletes. In the cross-country steeplechase riding, Hall got off to a good start, placing fourth. The leaders were two Americans, George Lambert and Jack Daniels. But they fell back in the épée fencing. Hall placed fourth with the sword and moved into a big lead after two phases, with 1,924 points, leading two Finns, Väinö Korhonen and Olavi Mannonen. The three would fight it out for the medals for the rest of the event. Hall struggled in the shooting, finishing equal 24th, while Mannonen and Korhonen would tie for fifth, and they moved ahead, Korhonen taking the overall lead over Mannonen, with Hall now fourth, also trailing Hungary’s Gábor Benedek, the 1952 silver medalist.

Hall’s best event was swimming and he placed second in the 300 freestyle, finishing only behind the Soviet Union’s Ivan Deryugin. But Mannonen, Korhonen, and Benedek placed 15th, 16th, and 18th respectively, and Hall moved back into a 41-point lead over Korhonen. In the cross-country run, Hall placed eighth, but of the contenders, only Mannonen finished ahead of him, and just barely in seventh place. It was not enough and allowed Hall to defend his gold medal, with Mannonen placing second, and Korhonen third. Lars Hall was the first athlete to have won two individual gold medals, a feat not matched until Andrey Moiseyev (RUS) won gold in 2004-2008. In fencing, Romania's Cornel Vena won 29 of 35 bouts, scoring 1,111 points. Although records are not complete for the early years, he won 82.9% of his bouts, and this is the best performance and highest score awarded in fencing in the Olympic modern pentathlon.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Lars Hall 29 Sweden SWE Gold 4,833.0
2 Ole Mannonen 26 Finland FIN Silver 4,774.5
3 Wäinö Korhonen 29 Finland FIN Bronze 4,750.0
4 Igor Novikov 27 Soviet Union URS 4,714.5
5 George Lambert 28 United States USA 4,693.0
6 Gábor Benedek 29 Hungary HUN 4,650.0
7 Bill Andre 25 United States USA 4,629.5
8 Aleksandr Tarasov 29 Soviet Union URS 4,479.0
9 Ivan Deriuhin 27 Soviet Union URS 4,452.0
10 János Bódy 24 Hungary HUN 4,375.5
11 Luis Ribera 27 Argentina ARG 4,248.5
12 José Pérez 28 Mexico MEX 4,093.5
13 Jack Daniels 23 United States USA 4,078.5
14 Cornel Vena 24 Romania ROU 4,073.5
15 Adriano Facchini 29 Italy ITA 4,035.5
16 Berndt Katter 24 Finland FIN 4,024.0
17 Bertil Haase 33 Sweden SWE 3,928.0
18 Gerardo Cortes, Sr. Chile CHI 3,849.5
19 Neville Sayers 29 Australia AUS 3,717.0
20 Dumitru Ţintea Romania ROU 3,697.5
21 Antal Moldrich 22 Hungary HUN 3,667.0
22 Antonio Almada 25 Mexico MEX 3,616.0
23 Vladimír Černý 30 Czechoslovakia TCH 3,520.5
24 Nilo Floody 35 Chile CHI 3,502.0
25 Donald Cobley 28 Great Britain GBR 3,422.0
26 Okkie van Greunen 22 South Africa RSA 3,402.0
27 Salvio Lemos 23 Brazil BRA 3,286.0
28 Thomas Hudson 20 Great Britain GBR 3,260.0
29 David Romero 27 Mexico MEX 3,227.5
30 Victor Teodorescu Romania ROU 3,167.0
31 Wenceslau Malta 24 Brazil BRA 3,133.0
32 Sven Coomer 16 Australia AUS 3,103.0
33 Jean-Claude Hamel France FRA 2,885.5
34 George Norman 29 Great Britain GBR 2,749.0
35 George Nicoll Australia AUS 2,150.0
36 Harry Schmidt 40 South Africa RSA 1,566.0
AC Nilo da Silva 23 Brazil BRA DNF
AC Björn Thofelt 21 Sweden SWE DNF
AC Héctor Carmona Chile CHI DNF
AC Marthinus du Plessis 24 South Africa RSA DNF