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.
Soviet [Vladimir Manayev] had won the 1955 World Championships, and the 1956 World Cup. He was the favorite, and made it to the final rounds. He was joined there by Sweden’s Per Berlin, silver medalist in 1952 in freestyle, and Turkey’s Mithat Bayrak. Bayrak’s only previous international experience was placing fourth at the 1955 Mediterranean Games, but he defeated Berlin in round four, and when he won a unanimous decision over Manayev in the final round, the gold medal was his. Manayev won silver based on a final round victory on points over Berlin.
Bayrak would return in 1960 at Roma and defend his title, a rare consecutive victory in the same class in Olympic wrestling. In 1959 he won silver medals at the Mediterranean Games and the Balkan Championships, but he never matched his Olympic record at other major internationals. Berlin also competed in freestyle in Melbourne, but could not repeat his medal performance at Helsinki.
|2||Vladimir Maneyev||24||Soviet Union||URS||Silver|
|5T||Jay Holt||33||United States||USA|
|AC||Miklós Szilvásy||30||Hungary||HUN||Eliminated r3/6||6|
|AC||Mitko Petkov||30||Bulgaria||BUL||Withdrew r3/6||4|
|AC||Fred Murphy||32||Australia||AUS||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Ernst Wandaller||22||Austria||AUT||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Oddvar Vargset||31||Norway||NOR||Withdrew r2/6||3|