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Modern Pentathlon at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games

1956 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Date Started: November 23, 1956
Date Finished: November 28, 1956
Events: 2

Participants: 40 (40 men and 0 women) from 16 countries
Youngest Participant: AUS Sven Coomer (16 years, 43 days)
Oldest Participant: RSA Harry Schmidt (40 years, 250 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): FIN Wäinö Korhonen and FIN Ole Mannonen (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): FIN Finland (3 medals)


The biggest change in modern pentathlon was that it was no longer scored on a point-for-place system, as it had been at the Olympics from 1912-1952, but was now scored by a series of scoring tables. The scoring tables débuted internationally at the 1954 World Championships. The events were as in 1952, with an individual and team event, the team event consisting of all three athletes from one nation’s team. The order of events was the same as it had been since 1932 – riding, fencing, shooting, swimming, and running. The competition took place over 6 days, with a rest day after the fencing competition. The quarantine problem with horses, that necessitated moving Olympic Equestrian to Stockholm, did not affect the modern pentathlon, as the modern pentathletes used local horses assigned by the Organizing Committee, which is standard for the sport.