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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres

Athletics at the 1956 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 29, 1956
Date Finished: November 30, 1956

Gold: AUS Betty Cuthbert
Silver: GER Christa Stubnick
Bronze: AUS Marlene Mathews-Willard


In September 1956, [Betty Cuthbert] broke the world record with a time of 23.2. In the preliminaries she ran the fastest time in both round one and the semi-finals. The final was an easy victory for Cuthbert, the “Golden Girl,” who had won the 100 four days prior. Her winning mark of 23.55 was considered an early version of the auto-timed world record for 200 metres. She would add a third gold medal by anchoring the relay for Australia.

Cuthbert competed at the 1960 Olympics but was injured and not at her best. She later turned to the 400 metres and won the gold medal in that event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the first time it was ever contested for women. Cuthbert remains, through 2016, the only person to win Olympic golds in the 100, 200, and 400 metres.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Betty Cuthbert 18 Australia AUS Gold WR
2 Christa Stubnick 22 Germany GER Silver
3 Marlene Mathews-Willard 22 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Norma Croker-Fleming 22 Australia AUS
5 June Foulds-Paul 22 Great Britain GBR
6 Gisela Köhler-Birkemeyer 24 Germany GER
4 h1 r2/3 Mariya Itkina 24 Soviet Union URS
4 h2 r2/3 Heather Armitage 23 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r2/3 Jean Scrivens 21 Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r2/3 Mae Faggs 24 United States USA
6 h1 r2/3 Barbara Lerczak-Janiszewska-Sobotta 19 Poland POL
6 h2 r2/3 Vera Yugova 19 Soviet Union URS
3 h1 r1/3 Diane Matheson 20 Canada CAN
3 h2 r1/3 Wilma Rudolph 16 United States USA
3 h3 r1/3 Giuseppina Leone 21 Italy ITA
3 h4 r1/3 Letizia Bertoni 19 Italy ITA
3 h5 r1/3 Simone Henry 18 France FRA
3 h6 r1/3 Inge Fuhrmann 20 Germany GER
4 h1 r1/3 Mary Klass 21 Singapore SGP
4 h2 r1/3 Genowefa Minicka 30 Poland POL
4 h3 r1/3 Meredith Ellis 15 United States USA
4 h4 r1/3 Claudette Masdammer 17 Guyana GUY
4 h5 r1/3 Eleanor Haslam 17 Canada CAN
4 h6 r1/3 Micheline Fluchot 22 France FRA
5 h1 r1/3 Maeve Kyle 28 Ireland IRL
5 h5 r1/3 Olga Kosheleva 24 Soviet Union URS
5 h6 r1/3 Maureen Rever 18 Canada CAN