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Wrestling at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Middleweight, 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: BUL Nikola Stanchev
Silver: USA Dan Hodge
Bronze: URS Giorgi Skhirt'ladze


Iran’s [Abbas Zandi] was the 1954 World Champion, but he was a non-factor for a medal in Melbourne, after losing consecutive matches in rounds three and four. The finalists were Bulgaria’s [Nikola Stanchev], American [Dan Hodge], and Soviet Georgian [Giorgi Skhirt’ladze], with the three at four bad points after round five. Hodge had competed at the 1952 Olympics and was renowned for his strength, but he lost to Stanchev by fall in 11 minutes, giving Stanchev the first gold medal ever won for Bulgaria, in any sport. Hodge won silver by then defeating Skhirt’ladze by fall, also in 11 minutes. Hodge would later have a short career as a professional boxer.

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

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Nikola Stanchev 26 Bulgaria BUL Gold
2 Dan Hodge 24 United States USA Silver
3 Giorgi Skhirt'ladze 24 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 İsmet Atlı Turkey TUR
5T Kazuo Katsuramoto 22 Japan JPN
5T Hans Sterr 23 Germany GER
AC Abbas Zandi 26 Iran IRI Eliminated r4/6 7
AC Bengt Lindblad 31 Sweden SWE Eliminated r4/6 7
AC William Davies Australia AUS Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Bakshish Singh India IND Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Manie van Zyl 27 South Africa RSA Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Viljo Punkari 22 Finland FIN Withdrew r3/6 3
AC George Farquhar 26 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Muhammad Faiz 19 Pakistan PAK Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Nicolas Arcales 41 Philippines PHI Eliminated r2/6 6