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Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

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Events:

Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 30, 1956
Date Finished: December 6, 1956

Gold: JPN Masaru Furukawa
Silver: JPN Masahiro Yoshimura
Bronze: URS Kharis Yunichev

Summary

For the first time at the Olympics, breaststroke and butterfly were split into separate disciplines, but they still generated controversy as nearly a third of the entrants were disqualified for using illegal strokes.The most notable of those excluded being 1952 medallist [Herbert Klein], who was punished after winning one of the heats.

Japan returned to breaststroke swimming pre-eminence in 1956. Japan had dominated in the immediate pre-war years but had failed to win a medal in the event for 20 years.

[Masaru Furukawa] won gold using a technique that kept him underwater for more than a quarter of the race with his slightly more visible teammate [Masahiro Yoshimura] narrowly defeating [Kharis Yunichev] to the silver medal. Yunichev was the first Soviet swimmer to claim an Olympic medal.

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