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John Monckton

Full name: John James Monckton
Gender: Male
Height: 6-3.5 (192 cm)
Weight: 183 lbs (83 kg)
Born: October 28, 1938 in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Died: June 29, 2017 in Fisherman's Reach, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliations: ?, New South Wales, (AUS)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Swimming

Related Olympians: Husband of Maureen Giles.

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

John Monckton was the best backstroke swimmer at the end of 1950s and was favored for the 100 backstroke gold at both 1956 and 1960 Olympics, but was upset by teammate [David Theile] both times. Theile had a unique turn which seemed to help him gain time on his opponents, and was of contested legality. He was given an unofficial warning by the judges at the 1956 Olympics for using this turn in the heats and decided to use a more orthodox method for the semi-final. In the final he reverted to his original technique and used it to good effect as he finished exactly a second ahead of Monckton to claim the 1956 Olympic title. In 1960, Monckton was even with Theile on the outward lap at the final, but misjudged the turn and broke a finger as he smashed into the wall, finishing in a disappointing seventh position.

Between Olympics, when Theile took a break from swimming to concentrate on medical studies, Monckton won the 110 yd backstroke and 4x110 yd medley relay golds at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Monckton also set three world records during his career – 1:01.5 in 100 m backstroke and 2:18.8 and 2:18.4 in 200 m backstroke, all in 1958. Monckton retired from sports after failing to qualify at the 1964 Olympics.

Outside of sports, Monckton, who was trained as a carpenter, later worked as a storekeeper and ran a hotel in Nambucca Valley. The Monckton Aquatic Centre in Armidale is named after him and his father Thomas Monckton, who operated Armidale Olympic Swimming Pool from 1926-56, where Monckton and his future wife, fellow 1956 Olympian [Maureen Giles], learned to swim. Together, from their home in Nambucca Heads, they embarked on a decade-long fight against the state government’s wetland conservation policy of the 1990s. Monckton was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1999.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Swimming Men's 100 metres Backstroke Australia AUS 2 Silver
1960 Summer 21 Roma Swimming Men's 100 metres Backstroke Australia AUS 7

Men's 100 metres Backstroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Swimming Australia Final 2 1:03.2
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Swimming Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 1 Q 1:04.1
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Swimming Australia Round One Heat Four 1 Q/OR 1:03.4
1960 Summer 21 Roma Swimming Australia Final 7 1:04.1
1960 Summer 21 Roma Swimming Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 4 Q 1:03.8
1960 Summer 21 Roma Swimming Australia Round One Heat One 1 Q 1:04.4
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