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Modern Pentathlon at the 1960 Roma Summer Games:

Men's Individual

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Congress Palace, Roma; Federal Centre, Passo Corese; Olympic Swimming Stadium, Roma; Roma Acquasanta Golf Club, Roma; Umberto I Rifle Range, Roma
Date Started: August 26, 1960
Date Finished: August 31, 1960
Format: Scoring by point tables.

Gold: HUN Ferenc Németh
Silver: HUN Imre Nagy
Bronze: USA Bob Beck

Summary

The great Soviet modern pentathlete, Igor Novikov, was a heavy favorite. He had won the World Championships in 1957, 1958, and 1959 and would triumph again in 1961. But he ran afoul of the modern pentathlon luck of the draw when the horse he drew for the steeplechase riding proved to be a poor one. Novikov placed only 33rd in riding with 982 points. He was over 250 points behind the leader and could not recover, eventually finishing fifth, despite a second in the swimming and winning the cross-country run.

With Novikov out of the medals, the competition eventually came down to the three Hungarian teammates, Ferenc Németh, Imre Nagy, and András Balczó, and American Bob Beck. They also struggled in the riding, but finished second, first, and sixth in fencing respectively. But the lead after the second phase was held by the Mexican pentathlete Antonio Almada, and after the third phase by his teammate, Sergio Escobedo, who was helped by his horse draw, winning that phase with a dominant performance. Balczó won the swimming, with Beck placing fourth and Németh sixth. Going into the cross-country run, Beck led, with Almada second, Németh third, Nagy fourth, and Balczó sixth. But Almada was a poor runner, and would finish 52nd in the cross-country. Beck was also not strong and would place 24th, falling back to the bronze medal, although he only missed the silver by three seconds and the gold by 15 seconds. The run was won by Novikov with Balczó second, but it was not enough for either to get to the medals – Balczó would finish fourth. Ferenc Németh placed seventh in the run but it was enough to move him up to the gold medal position, with Nagy following him in eighth in the run and winning the silver medal. Németh never won another major title, never competed at the World Championships, and never won a Hungarian national title.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Ferenc Németh 24 Hungary HUN Gold 5,024
2 Imre Nagy 27 Hungary HUN Silver 4,988
3 Bob Beck 23 United States USA Bronze 4,981
4 András Balczó 22 Hungary HUN 4,973
5 Igor Novikov 30 Soviet Union URS 4,962
6 Nikolay Tatarinov 32 Soviet Union URS 4,758
7 Stanisław Przybylski 29 Poland POL 4,731
8 Jack Daniels 27 United States USA 4,717
9 Kurt Lindeman 28 Finland FIN 4,713
10 Hanno Selg 28 Soviet Union URS 4,688
11 Patrick Harvey 24 Great Britain GBR 4,679
12 Berndt Katter 28 Finland FIN 4,628
13 Luis Ribera 31 Argentina ARG 4,623
14 Kazimierz Paszkiewicz 25 Poland POL 4,596
15 Per-Erik Ritzén 25 Sweden SWE 4,590
16 Eero Lohi 33 Finland FIN 4,584
17 Antonio Almada 29 Mexico MEX 4,566
18 George Lambert 31 United States USA 4,540
19 Erhard Minder 35 Switzerland SUI 4,527
20 Kazimierz Mazur 30 Poland POL 4,511
21 Sture Ericson 31 Sweden SWE 4,466
22 Sergio Escobedo 29 Mexico MEX 4,462
23 Adriano Facchini 33 Italy ITA 4,412
24 Donald Cobley 31 Great Britain GBR 4,372
25 Peter Lichtner-Hoyer 34 Austria AUT 4,343
26 Peter Little 26 Great Britain GBR 4,294
27 Justo Botelho 24 Brazil BRA 4,270
28 Wolfgang Gödicke 25 Germany GER 4,262
29 Gaetano Scala 27 Italy ITA 4,261
30 Björn Thofelt 25 Sweden SWE 4,210
31 Neville Sayers 33 Australia AUS 4,205
32 Wenceslau Malta 28 Brazil BRA 4,181
33 Werner Vetterli 31 Switzerland SUI 4,108
34 Hugh Doherty 20 Australia AUS 4,097
35 Kazuhiro Tanaka 24 Japan JPN 4,085
36 Carlos Stricker 22 Argentina ARG 4,021
37 Udo Birnbaum 23 Austria AUT 4,005
38 Shigeaki Uchino 29 Japan JPN 3,988
39 Frank Battig 24 Austria AUT 3,905
40 Raúl Bauza 25 Argentina ARG 3,888
41 Giulio Giunta 25 Italy ITA 3,883
42 André Bernard 24 France FRA 3,880
43 José Pérez 31 Mexico MEX 3,874
44 Joaquín Villalba 31 Spain ESP 3,867
45 Christian Beauvalet 36 France FRA 3,863
46 Peter Macken 21 Australia AUS 3,836
47 Benny Schmidt 31 Denmark DEN 3,810
48 Dieter Krickow 24 Germany GER 3,780
49 Rolf Weber 25 Switzerland SUI 3,747
50 José Wilson 28 Brazil BRA 3,520
51 Fernando Irayzoz 35 Spain ESP 3,386
52 Okkie van Greunen 26 South Africa RSA 3,378
53 Étienne Jalenques 25 France FRA 3,337
54 Arsène Pint 27 Belgium BEL 3,242
55 Ralf Berckhan 28 Germany GER 3,061
56 Lakdar Bouzid 24 Tunisia TUN 2,356
57 Habib Ben Azzabi 23 Tunisia TUN 1,678
58 Ahmed Ennachi 24 Tunisia TUN 1,185
AC Mohamed Ben Checkroun 23 Morocco MAR DNF
AC Naji El-Mekki 25 Morocco MAR DNF