Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Date Started: November 28, 1956
Date Finished: December 6, 1956
Participants: 173 (173 men and 0 women) from 30 countries
Youngest Participant: Muhammad Latif (17 years, 289 days)
Oldest Participant: Nicolas Arcales (41 years, 291 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 48 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Soviet Union (13 medals)
The 1956 wrestling tournament was conducted at the [Royal Exhibition Building] in Melbourne, which also hosted the basketball final, weightlifting, and the fencing phase of modern pentathlon. The Royal Exhibition Building was built in 1880-81 and hosted the first Australian Parliament in 1901. It still exists and in 2004 was the first Australian building to receive UNESCO World Heritage Status. It continues to be used for shows and exhibits and as an examination hall for several Melbourne area schools and colleges.
There was no change to the wrestling program in 1956 with the same eight classes and weight limits for both freestyle and Greco-Roman. The tournament was again conducted by a negative (bad) point system, with the system changed again, now reverting to the system used in 1936 and 1948. A win by fall earned 0 points, while winning by unanimous decision gained the wrestler 1 point. A loss by majority decision (2-1) cost 2 points, and a loss by unanimous decision or fall cost 3 points. Wrestlers were eliminated when they accumulated 5 points, so effectively the event was a double elimination tournament.
The Soviet Union dominated wrestling in Melbourne, winning 13 medals and 6 gold medals, followed by Turkey with 7 medals and 3 golds. The Soviets led the total medal list in both styles. In freestyle, however, they won only 1 gold medal, as Iran, Japan, and Turkey won 2 each. In Greco-Roman, the USSR won 7 medals and 5 golds.