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Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 30, 1956
Date Finished: December 6, 1956

Gold: JPN Masaru Furukawa
Silver: JPN Masahiro Yoshimura
Bronze: URS Kharis Yunichev
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For the first time at the Olympics, breaststroke and butterfly were split into separate disciplines, but they still generated controversy as nearly a third of the entrants were disqualified for using illegal strokes.The most notable of those excluded being 1952 medallist Herbert Klein, who was punished after winning one of the heats.

Japan returned to breaststroke swimming pre-eminence in 1956. Japan had dominated in the immediate pre-war years but had failed to win a medal in the event for 20 years.

Masaru Furukawa won gold using a technique that kept him underwater for more than a quarter of the race with his slightly more visible teammate Masahiro Yoshimura narrowly defeating Kharis Yunichev to the silver medal. Yunichev was the first Soviet swimmer to claim an Olympic medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Masaru Furukawa 20 Japan JPN Gold
2 Masahiro Yoshimura 20 Japan JPN Silver
3 Kharis Yunichev 25 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Terry Gathercole 20 Australia AUS
5 Ihor Zaseda 24 Soviet Union URS
6 Knud Gleie 21 Denmark DEN
7 Manuel Sanguily 23 Cuba CUB
AC r2/2 Hugues Broussard France FRA DQ
3 h1 r1/2 Farid Dosaiev 23 Soviet Union URS
4 h1 r1/2 Louis Kozma 18 Belgium BEL
4 h2 r1/2 René Kohn 23 Luxembourg LUX
4 h3 r1/2 Gilbert Desmit 19 Belgium BEL
5 h1 r1/2 Shamsher Khan India IND
5 h2 r1/2 István Szivós, Sr. 36 Hungary HUN
5 h3 r1/2 Christopher Walkden 18 Great Britain GBR
6 h3 r1/2 Bob Hughes 25 United States USA
AC h1 r1/2 Octavio Mobiglia 33 Brazil BRA DQ
AC h1 r1/2 Palsons Naibula Philippines PHI DQ
AC h2 r1/2 Álvaro Gómez Colombia COL DQ
AC h2 r1/2 Herbert Klein 33 Germany GER DQ
AC h3 r1/2 Ghulam Rasul Pakistan PAK DQ