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Modern Pentathlon at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Individual

Modern Pentathlon at the 1972 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Fencing Hall 1, Exhibition Lands (Hall 20), München; Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München; Riding Stadium, Riem, München; Shooting Range, Hochbrück, München; Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: August 31, 1972
Format: Scoring by point tables.

Gold: HUN András Balczó
Silver: URS Borys Onyshchenko
Bronze: URS Pavel Lednyov

Summary

András Balczó (HUN) was the best pentathlete of the 1960s, winning five consecutive World Championships – 1963, 1965-67, and 1969. But he had yet to win an individual Olympic gold medal, placing second in 1968 after being favored. He was not favored in 1972, that distinction going to the Soviet World Champion (1971) Boris Onishchenko. After four phases, Balczó was tied for third with the defending gold medalist Björn Ferm (SWE), both trailing Onishchenko and his teammate, Pavel Lednev. But Balczó was a far superior runner and finished third in the cross-country run, pulling him ahead of both Soviets to an easy overall victory. Onishchenko won the silver and Lednev the bronze medal. This was Balczó’s third gold medal, adding it to team golds in 1960 and 1968, still the most ever by an Olympic modern pentathlete – thru 2008. The gold, and the team silver in 1972, gave him five Olympic medals, an Olympic record at the time. Balczó later married 1972 Olympic gymnast Mónika Császár. They would have 11 children and he would become an extreme right-wing politician.

During the competition it was discovered that 14 athletes had taken sedatives (Valium and Librium) before the shooting phase. The drugs were not banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), although they were by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM). But at the Olympics, the IOC rules were followed, so the athletes were not disqualified.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 András Balczó 34 Hungary HUN Gold 5,412
2 Borys Onyshchenko 34 Soviet Union URS Silver 5,335
3 Pavel Lednyov 29 Soviet Union URS Bronze 5,328
4 Jim Fox 30 Great Britain GBR 5,311
5 Vladimir Shmelyov 25 Soviet Union URS 5,302
6 Björn Ferm 28 Sweden SWE 5,283
7 Heiner Thade 29 West Germany FRG 5,145
8 Risto Hurme 22 Finland FIN 5,094
9 Charles Richards 27 United States USA 5,074
10 Michel Gueguen 21 France FRA 5,072
11 John Fitzgerald 24 United States USA 5,070
12 Zsigmond Villányi 22 Hungary HUN 5,047
13 Ryszard Wach 26 Poland POL 4,973
14 Jørn Steffensen 27 Denmark DEN 4,887
15 Pál Bakó 26 Hungary HUN 4,879
16 Mario Medda 29 Italy ITA 4,863
17 Veikko Salminen 27 Finland FIN 4,852
18 Wolfgang Leu 27 Austria AUT 4,852
19 Martti Ketelä 27 Finland FIN 4,849
20 Walter Esser 27 West Germany FRG 4,826
21 Janusz Pyciak-Peciak 23 Poland POL 4,817
22 Jean-Pierre Giudicelli 29 France FRA 4,807
23 Dumitru Spîrlea 21 Romania ROU 4,754
24 Bo Jansson 35 Sweden SWE 4,739
25 Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall 31 Sweden SWE 4,704
26 Georgi Stoyanov 24 Bulgaria BUL 4,695
27 Hole Rößler 23 West Germany FRG 4,678
28 Urs Hugi 20 Switzerland SUI 4,661
29 Scott Taylor 27 United States USA 4,656
30 Raoul Gueguen 25 France FRA 4,638
31 Masaru Sakano 30 Japan JPN 4,627
32 Robert Barrie 20 Australia AUS 4,600
33 Yuso Makihira 28 Japan JPN 4,583
34 Giovanni Perugini 26 Italy ITA 4,581
35 Peter Zobl-Wessely 23 Austria AUT 4,545
36 Barry Lillywhite 26 Great Britain GBR 4,527
37 Klaus Petersen 21 Denmark DEN 4,492
38 Marian Cosmescu 21 Romania ROU 4,490
39 Nicolo Deligia 32 Italy ITA 4,487
40 Stanisław Skwira 21 Poland POL 4,486
41 Peter Macken 33 Australia AUS 4,449
42 Gilberto Toledano 26 Mexico MEX 4,428
43 Eduardo Olivera 27 Mexico MEX 4,426
44 Bruno Jerebicnik 25 Austria AUT 4,415
45 Hans Müller 25 Switzerland SUI 4,392
46 Jan Bekkenk 23 Netherlands NED 4,391
47 Robert Phelps 33 Great Britain GBR 4,385
48 Adalbert Covacs 25 Romania ROU 4,381
49 Akira Kubo 29 Japan JPN 4,371
50 Velko Bratanov 23 Bulgaria BUL 4,339
51 Beat Ganz 26 Switzerland SUI 4,323
52 René Heitmann 30 Denmark DEN 4,190
53 Rob Vonk 22 Netherlands NED 4,153
54 Scott Scheuermann 18 Canada CAN 4,072
55 Juan José Castilla 27 Mexico MEX 4,014
56 Kenneth Maaten 19 Canada CAN 3,987
57 Angel Pepelyankov 23 Bulgaria BUL 3,971
58 Henk Krediet 30 Netherlands NED 3,786
59 George Skene 17 Canada CAN 3,297