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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Women's 80 metres Hurdles

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 27, 1956
Date Finished: November 28, 1956

Gold: AUS Shirley Strickland de la Hunty
Silver: GER Gisela Köhler-Birkemeyer
Bronze: AUS Norma Thrower


The defending champion, [Shirley Strickland], now Strickland-de la Hunty, was back, and running in her native Australia. The silver medalist, [Mariya Golubnichiya] (URS), was also back and had won the 1954 European Championship in the interim. In August 1954, she had also equaled Strickland’s world record from the 1952 Olympic final. That record was broken in July 1956 by West German [Zenta Gastl], who ran 10.6 in an International in Frechen. Gastl was in Melbourne but finished fourth in the second semi and did not make the final. Three Australians made it to the final, along with Golubnichiya and her teammate [Galina Bystrova], later European Champion, and East German [Gisela Köhler]. In the first semi, Strickland-de la Hunty and Köhler both ran under 11 seconds auto timing, the first time that had been done. The final was not as close as expected, as Strickland-de la Hunty won by almost 2 metres.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Shirley Strickland de la Hunty 31 Australia AUS Gold OR
2 Gisela Köhler-Birkemeyer 24 Germany GER Silver
3 Norma Thrower 20 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Galina Bystrova 22 Soviet Union URS
5 Mariya Golubnichaya 32 Soviet Union URS
6 Gloria Cooke-Wigney 22 Australia AUS
4 h1 r2/3 Marthe Lambert 20 France FRA
4 h2 r2/3 Zenta Gastl-Kopp 22 Germany GER
5 h1 r2/3 Berta Díaz 20 Cuba CUB
5 h2 r2/3 Elaine Winter 24 South Africa RSA
6 h1 r2/3 Carole Quinton 20 Great Britain GBR
6 h2 r2/3 Margaret Stuart 22 New Zealand NZL
4 h1 r1/3 Barbara Mueller 23 United States USA
4 h2 r1/3 Constance Darnowski 21 United States USA
4 h3 r1/3 Angèle Picado 21 France FRA
4 h4 r1/3 Maria Sander 32 Germany GER
5 h1 r1/3 Milena Greppi 27 Italy ITA
5 h2 r1/3 Pauline Threapleton-Wainwright 23 Great Britain GBR
5 h3 r1/3 Niliya Besedina-Kulakova 20 Soviet Union URS
5 h4 r1/3 Francisca Sanopal Philippines PHI
6 h3 r1/3 Irene Robertson 25 United States USA
7 h3 r1/3 Manolita Cinco Philippines PHI