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Modern Pentathlon at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's Individual

Modern Pentathlon at the 1936 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Golf Course, Wannsee, Berlin; House of Sports, Cupola Hall, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin; Military Exercise Field, Döberitz, Brandenburg; Shooting Stands, Ruhleben, Berlin; Swimming Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 2, 1936
Date Finished: August 6, 1936
Format: Point-for-place scoring.

Gold: GER Gotthard Handrick
Silver: USA Charles Leonard
Bronze: ITA Silvano Abba


With the lack of international competition, it was again very difficult to handicap the event. Sweden had won 13 of the 15 medals awarded in Olympic competition since 1912, so they were expected to be tough. There had been a European Championship in 1935, won by [Nándor von Orbán] (HUN), but nothing else is known of the competition. The 1928 champion, [Sven Thofelt] (SWE), was back and also competed in fencing in 1936, in which he won a medal in team épée. [Silvano Abba] (ITA) took the early lead, winning the horse steeplechase, with Germany’s [Gotthardt Handrick] and Belgium’s [Raoul Mollet] tying for second. Handrick then placed second in épée fencing and took a big lead with only 4½ points after two phases. The third phase was rapid-fire pistol shooting and [Charles Leonard] (USA) scored big here, winning the competition with the first ever possible of 200 in modern pentathlon rapid-fire pistol shooting. This moved him into fourth place overall but Handrick was still well ahead. Handrick maintained his lead after the swim, followed by Thofelt, who moved into second, placing third in the swim. Leonard was sixth in the 300 metre freestyle to move into the bronze medal position after four days of competition. The cross-country run was won by Austria’s [Karl Leban], although it only served to move him from 35th to 26th place. Handrick placed 14th in the run, but was not really challenged for the gold medal. Leonard tied for seventh running to move up to a silver medal, followed by Abba, who won the bronze medal, with Thofelt falling to fourth (as in 1932) with a 24th place finish in the run. For the first time ever, no Swede won a medal.

Handrick soon afterwards became a fighter pilot with the “Legion Condor,” a squadron of German volunteers for the Fascist cause in the Spanish Civil War. Between this and WW II he claimed 15 victories in aerial combat. Abba, who won the riding section of the Modern Pentathlon, was killed during the Battle of Izbushensky, where the 700 riders of the Italian Army’s Savoy Cavalry mounted the last successful cavalry charge in military history.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsRidingFencingShootingSwimmingRunning2nd Phase Summary3rd Phase Summary4th Phase Summary

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal O
1 Gotthard Handrick 27 Germany GER Gold 31.5
2 Charles Leonard 23 United States USA Silver 39.5
3 Silvano Abba 25 Italy ITA Bronze 45.5
4 Sven Thofelt 32 Sweden SWE 47.0
5 Nándor von Orbán 26 Hungary HUN 55.5
6 Hermann Lemp 22 Germany GER 67.5
7 Dodd Starbird 24 United States USA 67.5
8 Rezső von Bartha 23 Hungary HUN 76.5
9 Frederick Weber 30 United States USA 79.0
10 Georg von Boisman 25 Sweden SWE 82.5
11 Karl Wyss 26 Switzerland SUI 83.5
12 Herbert Bramfeld 23 Germany GER 89.0
13 Jeffrey MacDougall 24 Great Britain GBR 91.0
14 Lauri Kettunen 31 Finland FIN 92.0
15 Ugo Ceccarelli 25 Italy ITA 93.5
16 Ebbe Gyllenstierna 24 Sweden SWE 93.5
17 Édouard Écuyer de le Court 34 Belgium BEL 94.5
18 Alexander, Jonkheer van Geen 32 Netherlands NED 101.5
19 Percy Legard 30 Great Britain GBR 104.5
20 Aaro Kiviperä 24 Finland FIN 108.0
21 Lajos von Sipeki-von Balás 22 Hungary HUN 108.5
22 Franco Orgera 28 Italy ITA 109.5
23 Ukko Hietala 31 Finland FIN 110.5
24 André Chrétien 29 France FRA 111.0
25 Raoul Mollet 23 Belgium BEL 116.0
26 Karl Leban 27 Austria AUT 117.0
27 Josephus Serré 29 Netherlands NED 117.5
28 Béchir Bouazzat 27 France FRA 117.5
29 Johannes van der Horst 26 Netherlands NED 117.5
30 Heriberto Anguiano 25 Mexico MEX 118.5
31 Archibald Jack 23 Great Britain GBR 119.0
32 Willy Grundbacher 29 Switzerland SUI 121.0
33 Alfred Guth 28 Austria AUT 133.5
34 Jan Scheere 27 Belgium BEL 134.5
35 Luis Casíllas 31 Mexico MEX 134.5
36 Guilherme Catramby Filho 31 Brazil BRA 159.5
37 Rui Duarte 25 Brazil BRA 160.0
38 Paul Lavanga 25 France FRA 167.5
39 Anísio da Rocha 23 Brazil BRA 177.5
AC Hans Baumann 31 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Alexandros Baltatzis-Mavrokorlatis Greece GRE DNF
AC José Escribens 24 Peru PER DNF