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Athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Women's High Jump

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: December 1, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956

Gold: USA Millie McDaniel
Silver: GBR Thelma Hopkins
URS Mariya Pisareva


Two world records had been set earlier in 1956. In May, Britain’s Thelma Hopkins jumped 1.74 (5-8½), while in July, Romania’s [Iolanda Balaş] jumped 1.75 (5-8¾) metres. In 1954 they had placed 1-2 at the European Championships, Hopkins winning. At 1.67 (5-5¾) metres, seven jumpers went over, with Hopkins, [Millie McDaniel] (USA), [Mariya Pisareva] (URS), and [Gunhild Larking] (SWE) clearing on their first attempts. Balaş required two jumps, and finished fifth. At 1.70 (5-7), only McDaniel remained alive, clearing on her second jump, with Pisareva and Hopkins tieing in second place. Her personal best prior to Melbourne had been 1.69 (5-6½), but she then put the bar at the world record height of 1.76 (5-9¼) and succeeded on her second effort. She then tried 1.80 (5-10¾) but failed on three attempts.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Millie McDaniel 23 United States USA Gold WR
2T Thelma Hopkins 20 Great Britain GBR Silver
2T Mariya Pisareva 22 Soviet Union URS Silver
4 Gunhild Larking 20 Sweden SWE
5 Iolanda Balaș 19 Romania ROU
6 Michele Mason-Brown 17 Australia AUS
7 Jessie Donaghy 16 New Zealand NZL
8T Hermina Geyser 18 South Africa RSA
8T Jiřina Němcová-Vobořilová 19 Czechoslovakia TCH
10 Olga Modrachová 26 Czechoslovakia TCH
11 Valentina Ballod 19 Soviet Union URS
12T Reinelde Knapp 23 Austria AUT
12T Dorothy Odam-Tyler 36 Great Britain GBR
14 Carol Bernoth 18 Australia AUS
15 Janice Cooper 16 Australia AUS
16T Alice Whitty 22 Canada CAN
16T Audrey Bennett 20 Great Britain GBR
18 Inge Kilian 21 Germany GER
19 QR Ann Marie Flynn 18 United States USA