Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: December 3, 1956
Date Finished: December 6, 1956
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 3 points; loss by 3-0 decision = 3 points; loss by fall = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler.
The favorite was Finland’s Kyösti Lehtonen, who had been runner-up at the 1953 and 1955 World Championships. Sweden’s Gustav Freij had been silver medalist in 1952 at Helsinki and was the 1953 World Champion, and placed third at the 1955 Worlds, but he did not compete in Melbourne. Lehtonen won the gold medal fairly easily, although he had an unusual draw, with byes in rounds two, four, and five, and the first round of the final. Silver went to Turkey’s Rıza Doğan, who had lost to Lehtonen by split decision, but won his final round match over Hungary’s [Gyula Tóth] by fall.
Doğan would win the 1958 World Championships as a welterweight, in which Tóth again placed third. Tóth also wrestled freestyle in Melbourne, placing fourth in lightweight. Lehtonen competed again at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics but never won another Olympic medal. Gustav Freij would compete again at the 1960 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in this class.
|AC||Vladimir Rosin||24||Soviet Union||URS||Eliminated r2/8||5|
|AC||Juan Rolón||26||Argentina||ARG||Eliminated r2/8||6|
|AC||Tommy Evans||25||United States||USA||Eliminated r2/8||6|
|AC||Olle Anderberg||37||Sweden||SWE||Withdrew r2/8||3|