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Boxing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Featherweight

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Format: Single elimination tournament.

Gold: URS Vladimir Safronov
Silver: GBR Tommy Nicholls
Bronze: FIN Pentti Hämäläinen
POL Henryk Niedźwiedzki


A strong division brought together two returning champions from the Helsinki Games in bantamweight [Pentti Hämäläinen] (Finland) and featherweight [Ján Zachara] (Czechoslovakia) with the European champion [Tommy Nicholls] of Great Britain and South Africa's British Empire Games gold medalist [Len Leisching]. There was no place however for the talented American Harry Smith as he failed to make the weight limit.

An all European semi-final line-up saw Nicholls outpoint Hämäläinen to extract revenge for a defeat at the 1952 Games and book a place in the final against [Vladimir Safronov] of the Soviet Union. Safronov was a late substitute for [Aleksandr Zasukhin] who was forced to withdraw with an injury one week before the Games began. Since Nicholls had won the European title by defeating Zasukhin he was considered the favourite to win Olympic gold but in a close fight that was decided when the Soviet scored the only knockdown of the final, Safronov claimed the title. He was the first of 14 Soviet Olympic boxing champions between 1952 and 1988.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundSemi-FinalsQuarter-FinalsRound TwoRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vladimir Safronov 21 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Tommy Nicholls 25 Great Britain GBR Silver
3T Henryk Niedźwiedzki 23 Poland POL Bronze
3T Pentti Hämäläinen 26 Finland FIN Bronze
5T Tristán Falfán 17 Argentina ARG
5T André de Souza 20 France FRA
5T Shinichiro Suzuki 22 Japan JPN
5T Ján Zachara 28 Czechoslovakia TCH
9T Len Leisching 22 South Africa RSA
9T Maurice White Pakistan PAK
9T Agostino Cossia 25 Italy ITA
9T Nontaslip Thayansilp Thailand THA
9T Yaichit Wang 18 Myanmar MYA
9T Noel Hazard 19 Australia AUS
9T Jeong Do-Hun 24 South Korea KOR
9T Bernhard Schröter 22 Germany GER
17T Martin Smyth 20 Ireland IRL
17T Paulino Meléndres Philippines PHI