Canoeing’s 10000 metre distance events appeared for the last time at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Sweden’s Gert Fredriksson had won the K-1 10000 at the 1948 Games, but had lost his title at the 1950 World Championships and the 1952 Summer Olympics to Finland’s Thorvald Strömberg. He was also two-time Olympic (1948 and 1952) and World (1950 and 1954) Champion in the K-1 1000 and would be looking for revenge against Strömberg at the 1956 Games. The reigning World Champion, and K-1 1000 bronze medalist, was Ferenc Hatlaczky, who sought to add an Olympic crown to his collection in Melbourne. The World silver and bronze medal-winning nations of Czechoslovakia and Norway were represented by Ladislav Čepčianský and Knut Østby respectively, the latter of whom was the 1948 Olympic runner-up. Much of the race consisted of Fredriksson being in front, with Hatlaczky making attempts to narrow the gap and Germany’s Michel Scheuer, the 1952 bronze medalist, not far behind. Neither Hatlaczky nor Scheuer was able to get the best of the man ahead of him, however, and thus these three crossed the finish line in that order. Fredriksson would add to his gold medal collection the following day, when he won the K-1 1000, while Strömberg, suffering from stomach problems, finished fourth.