Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: December 3, 1956
Date Finished: December 6, 1956
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 3 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.
Sweden's [Bertil Antonsson] was favored, having won the 1950 and 1953 World Championships, and a silver medal at the 1955 Worlds. He had won silver medals in 1948 and 1952 as a heavyweight, but in freestyle. However, Antonsson lost his third-round match to Germany's [Wilfried Dietrich] and his fourth-round match to the unknown Italian, [Adelmo Bulgarelli], and was eliminated. Dietrich had seemed to win his first-round match against Soviet wrestler [Anatoly Parfyonov], but the Soviets appealed the decision, and it was reversed, giving Parfyonov a split decision. Parfyonov then lost to Antonsson in round two, but he would advance to the final round with a walkover in round three, and a bye in round four. In the first round of the finals, Parfyonov defeated Bulgarelli by decision, which gave the Soviet the gold medal, because of his disputed first-round victory over Dietrich, the other finalist. Dietrich then defeated Bulgarelli by unanimous decision for the silver medal.
Dietrich was competing in his first Olympics, but he would compete in five Olympics (1956-72), and in eight Olympic wrestling tournaments, an Olympic record, competing in both styles in 1960, 1964, and 1972. He would eventually win five Olympic medals, including gold in 1960 freestyle heavyweight, which is an all-time best in Olympic wrestling through 2012. In contrast, this was the only international tournament of Parfyonov's career.
|1||Anatoly Parfyonov||31||Soviet Union||URS||Gold|
|AC||Antonios Georgoulis||28||Greece||GRE||Eliminated r3/6||7|
|AC||Yusein Mekhmedov||32||Bulgaria||BUL||Withdrew r3/6||4|
|AC||Joseph Zammit||23||Australia||AUS||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Dale Lewis||23||United States||USA||Eliminated r2/6||6|