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Shooting at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Date Started: November 29, 1956
Date Finished: December 5, 1956
Events: 7

Participants: 156 (156 men and 0 women) from 37 countries
Youngest Participant: AUS Peter Papps (17 years, 9 days)
Oldest Participant: BEL Marcel Lafortune (56 years, 63 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): URS Vasily Borisov (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (8 medals)


By 1956, the Soviet Union had become the dominant nation in international shooting, and they would prove it in Melbourne. They won three of the seven events on the Olympic Program, and earned eight medals overall – 3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze, failing to earn a medal only in trap shooting, in which they only lost out on the medals in a shoot-off. The 1956 shooting range was constructed at the [Army rifle range] in Williamstown, 10 km. west of Melbourne, and 24 km. from the Olympic Village. The trap shooting events were conducted at the [Royal Australian Air Force Station] at Laverton, about 11 km. west of the main shooting ranges. The shooters were hampered in practice by poor weather, with winds of 14-20 m/s, and temperatures of about 10° C. Originally the stands had partitions at only every other firing point, but the official saw how difficult the conditions were in practice, and had partitions erected between every firing point. Fortunately for the competitors, the weather during the Olympic events was quite pleasant. The range length was later found to be 48.5 metres, rather than 50. The site was close to the sea, and there were no walls for bullets that missed the targets.