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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Discus Throw

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 27, 1956
Date Finished: November 27, 1956

Gold: USA Al Oerter
Silver: USA Fortune Gordien
Bronze: USA Des Koch


[Fortune Gordien] was the world record holder with 59.28 (194-6) set in August 1953. He led the year list with 57.21 (187-8½), set in winning the US Olympic Trials. The 1948 gold medalist [Adolfo Consolini] had won the last three European Championships and had set a European record of 56.85 (186-6¼) in 1956, and was a slight favorite. The other Americans were collegiate football star and 1955 NCAA Champion [Des Koch], and the very young [Al Oerter], who was not well known. Gordien opened in round one with 54.75 (179-7½), and Oerter threw after him, recording a lifetime best of 56.36 (184-11). That mark would hold up for Oerter, with Gordien getting silver, and Koch completing the American sweep. Al Oerter won the gold medal. A legend was in the making.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Al Oerter 20 United States USA Gold OR
2 Fortune Gordien 34 United States USA Silver
3 Des Koch 24 United States USA Bronze
4 Mark Pharaoh 25 Great Britain GBR
5 Oto Grigalka 31 Soviet Union URS
6 Adolfo Consolini 39 Italy ITA
7 Ferenc Klics 32 Hungary HUN
8 Dako Radošević 22 Yugoslavia YUG
9 Boris Matveyev 26 Soviet Union URS
10 Gerry Carr 20 Great Britain GBR
11 Günther Kruse 22 Argentina ARG
12 Kim Bukhantsov 24 Soviet Union URS
13 Fanie du Plessis 26 South Africa RSA
14 Erik Uddebom 22 Sweden SWE
15 Mesulame Rakuro 24 Fiji FIJ
16 Hernán Haddad 28 Chile CHI
17 QR Tadeusz Rut 25 Poland POL
18 QR Pierre Alard 19 France FRA
19 QR Muhammad Ayub 24 Pakistan PAK
20 QR Ves Balodis 23 Australia AUS