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Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

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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


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.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Masaru Furukawa 20 Japan JPN Gold
2 Masahiro Yoshimura 20 Japan JPN Silver
3 Kharis Yunichev 25 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Terry Gathercole 20 Australia AUS
5 Ihor Zaseda 24 Soviet Union URS
6 Knud Gleie 21 Denmark DEN
7 Manuel Sanguily 23 Cuba CUB
AC r2/2 Hugues Broussard France FRA DQ
3 h1 r1/2 Farid Dosaiev 23 Soviet Union URS
4 h1 r1/2 Louis Kozma 18 Belgium BEL
4 h2 r1/2 René Kohn 23 Luxembourg LUX
4 h3 r1/2 Gilbert Desmit 19 Belgium BEL
5 h1 r1/2 Shamsher Khan India IND
5 h2 r1/2 István Szivós, Sr. 36 Hungary HUN
5 h3 r1/2 Christopher Walkden 18 Great Britain GBR
6 h3 r1/2 Bob Hughes 25 United States USA
AC h1 r1/2 Octavio Mobiglia 25 Brazil BRA DQ
AC h1 r1/2 Palsons Naibula Philippines PHI DQ
AC h2 r1/2 Álvaro Gómez Colombia COL DQ
AC h2 r1/2 Herbert Klein 33 Germany GER DQ
AC h3 r1/2 Ghulam Rasul Pakistan PAK DQ