| Event type

Individual, Men

Date23 – 28 November 1956
LocationOaklands Hunt Club, Broadmeadows, Victoria / Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria / Merrett Rifle Range, Williamstown, Victoria / Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants40 from 16 countries
FormatScoring by point tables.

The defending champion Lars Hall, was back, but he had not competed at the World Championships since the 1952 Olympics, and was only selected for the Swedish team in October 1956 when he won the Swedish Championship. Nobody had stood out in the interim, as the nine medals at the 1953-55 World Championships were won by nine different athletes. In the cross-country steeplechase riding, Hall got off to a good start, placing fourth. The leaders were two Americans, George Lambert and Jack Daniels. But they fell back in the épée fencing. Hall placed fourth with the sword and moved into a big lead after two phases, with 1,924 points, leading two Finns, Väinö Korhonen and Olavi Mannonen. The three would fight it out for the medals for the rest of the event. Hall struggled in the shooting, finishing equal 24th, while Mannonen and Korhonen would tie for fifth, and they moved ahead, Korhonen taking the overall lead over Mannonen, with Hall now fourth, also trailing Hungary’s Gábor Benedek, the 1952 silver medalist.

Hall’s best event was swimming and he placed second in the 300 freestyle, finishing only behind the Soviet Union’s Ivan Deryugin. But Mannonen, Korhonen, and Benedek placed 15th, 16th, and 18th respectively, and Hall moved back into a 41-point lead over Korhonen. In the cross-country run, Hall placed eighth, but of the contenders, only Mannonen finished ahead of him, and just barely in seventh place. It was not enough and allowed Hall to defend his gold medal, with Mannonen placing second, and Korhonen third. Lars Hall was the first athlete to have won two individual gold medals, a feat not matched until Andrey Moiseyev (RUS) won gold in 2004-2008. In fencing, Romania’s Cornel Vena won 29 of 35 bouts, scoring 1,111 points. Although records are not complete for the early years, he won 82.9% of his bouts, and this is the best performance and highest score awarded in fencing in the Olympic modern pentathlon.

1Lars HallSWE4,833.0Gold
2Ole MannonenFIN4,774.5Silver
3Wäinö KorhonenFIN4,750.0Bronze
4Igor NovikovURS4,714.5
5George LambertUSA4,693.0
6Gábor BenedekHUN4,650.0
7Bill AndreUSA4,629.5
8Aleksandr TarasovURS4,479.0
9Ivan DeryuginURS4,452.0
10János BódyHUN4,375.5
11Luis RieraARG4,248.5
12José PérezMEX4,093.5
13Jack DanielsUSA4,078.5
14Cornel VenaROU4,073.51
15Adriano FacchiniITA4,035.5
16Berndt KatterFIN4,024.0
17Bertil HaaseSWE3,928.0
18Gerardo Cortés RencoretCHI3,849.5
19Neville SayersAUS3,717.0
20Dumitru ȚinteaROU3,697.5
21Antal MoldrichHUN3,667.0
22Antonio AlmadaMEX3,616.0
23Vladimír ČernýTCH3,520.5
24Nilo FloodyCHI3,502.0
25Don CobleyGBR3,422.0
26Okkie van GreunenRSA3,402.0
27Sálvio LemosBRA3,286.0
28Thomas HudsonGBR3,260.0
29David RomeroMEX3,227.5
30Victor TeodorescuROU3,167.0
31Wenceslau MaltaBRA3,133.0
32Sven CoomerAUS3,103.0
33Jean-Claude HamelFRA2,885.5
34George NormanGBR2,749.0
35Terry NicollAUS2,150.0
36Harry SchmidtRSA1,566.0
DNFNilo da SilvaBRA
DNFBjörn ThofeltSWE
DNFHéctor CarmonaCHI
DNFMarthinus du PlessisRSA