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Wrestling at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Featherweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 28, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 2 points; loss by 3-0 decision = 3 points; loss by fall = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler.

Gold: JPN Shozo Sasahara
Silver: BEL Jef Mewis
Bronze: FIN Erkki Penttilä


Japan’s [Shozo Sasahara] had won the 1954 World Championships, and came to Melbourne as the favorite. The final round consisted of Sasahara, Belgian [Jef Mewis], and Finn [Erkki Penttilä], but Penttilä had to withdraw with injury which gave Sasahara a walkover, as Mewis received a bye in the first round of the final. Sasahara then won the gold medal with a victory by decision over Mewis.

Sasahara never competed at another Olympics but would later serve as vice-president of FILA, the international wrestling federation, and the Japanese Olympic Committee, and as mayor of the Olympic Village at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. Mewis was competing in his second Olympics, after Helsinki, and would also compete in 1960 and 1964, but this was his only Olympic medal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsRound FiveRound FourRound ThreeRound TwoRound OneFinal Round

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Shozo Sasahara 27 Japan JPN Gold
2 Jef Mewis 25 Belgium BEL Silver
3 Erkki Penttilä 24 Finland FIN Bronze
4T Bayram Şit Turkey TUR
4T Myron Roderick 22 United States USA
6T Nasser Givehchi 24 Iran IRI
6T Linar Salimullin 24 Soviet Union URS
AC Ram Sarup India IND Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Abe Geldenhuys 24 South Africa RSA Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Muhammad Nazir 20 Pakistan PAK Eliminated r2/6 5
AC John Elliott 22 Australia AUS Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Herbie Hall 30 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Bálint Galántai 24 Hungary HUN Eliminated r2/6 6