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Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Butterfly

Swimming at the 1956 Summer Games: Next Summer Games


Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 30, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956

Gold: USA Bill Yorzyk
Silver: JPN Takashi Ishimoto
Bronze: HUN György Tumpek


The butterfly stroke had débuted at the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin as a new variant of breaststroke and by the Helsinki Games had proved to be so superior as to render the original technique worthless. The decision was then made to tighten the breaststroke rules and split butterfly into a new discipline.

American [Bill Yorzyk] proved himself to be a class above the rest and set world records in both heat and final. Yorzyk’s achievement is made more remarkable if you consider that he had not swum competitively until his first year of college. His coach at Springfield College, Red Silva, encouraged him to experiment with a “double-dolphin kick” which in only four years took him from novice to Olympic champion. Yorzyk retired prior to the 1960 Games but returned to the Olympic Games in 1964 as associate physician to the US delegation.

The silver medal went to 100 metre specialist [Takashi Ishimoto] of Japan with Hungary’s [György Tumpek] a very close third.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Bill Yorzyk 23 United States USA Gold
2 Takashi Ishimoto 21 Japan JPN Silver
3 György Tumpek 27 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Jack Nelson 25 United States USA
5 John Marshall 26 Australia AUS
6 Eulalio Ríos 21 Mexico MEX
7 Brian Wilkinson 18 Australia AUS
8 Alexandru Popescu 21 Romania ROU
2 h3 r1/2 Horst Weber 17 Germany GER
3 h3 r1/2 Graham Symonds 19 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r1/2 René Pirolley 25 France FRA
4 h3 r1/2 Agapito Lozada Philippines PHI
5 h1 r1/2 Jenő Áts 20 Hungary HUN
5 h2 r1/2 Palsons Naibula Philippines PHI
5 h3 r1/2 George Park Canada CAN
6 h1 r1/2 Walter Ocampo 27 Mexico MEX
6 h2 r1/2 Shamsher Khan India IND
6 h3 r1/2 Shah Ghazi Pakistan PAK
7 h3 r1/2 Fong Seow Hor 19 Malaya MAL