| Event type

Individual, Men

Date26 – 31 August 1960
LocationCentro Federale, Passo Corese / Palazzo dei Congressi, Roma / Poligono Umberto I, Roma / Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto, Roma / Circolo del Golf di Roma Acquasanta, Roma
Participants60 from 23 countries
FormatScoring by point tables.

The great Soviet modern pentathlete, Igor Novikov, was a heavy favorite. He had won the World Championships in 1957, 1958, and 1959 and would triumph again in 1961. But twice in 1960 he ran afoul of the modern pentathlon luck of the draw when the horse he drew for the steeplechase riding proved to be a poor one. He was lucky to be chosen for Rome after a poor riding phase at the Soviet Championship and, in the Italian capital city, Novikov placed only 33rd in riding with 982 points. He was over 250 points behind the leader and could not recover, eventually finishing fifth, despite a second in the swimming and winning the cross-country run.

With Novikov out of the medals, the competition eventually came down to the three Hungarian teammates, Ferenc Németh, Imre Nagy, and András Balczó, and American Bob Beck. They also struggled in the riding, but finished second, first, and sixth in fencing respectively. But the lead after the second phase was held by the Mexican pentathlete Antonio Almada, and after the third phase by his teammate, Sergio Escobedo, who was helped by his horse draw, winning that phase with a dominant performance. Balczó won the swimming, with Beck placing fourth and Németh sixth. Going into the cross-country run, Beck led, with Almada second, Németh third, Nagy fourth, and Balczó sixth. But Almada was a poor runner, and would finish 52nd in the cross-country. Beck was also not strong and would place 24th, falling back to the bronze medal, although he only missed the silver by three seconds and the gold by 15 seconds. The run was won by Novikov with Balczó second, but it was not enough for either to get to the medals – Balczó would finish fourth. Ferenc Németh placed seventh in the run but it was enough to move him up to the gold medal position, with Nagy following him in eighth in the run and winning the silver medal. Németh never won another major title, never competed at the World Championships, and never won a Hungarian national title.

Lars Hall, champion in 1952 and 1956, suffered a serious concussion when he fell from his horse at the Swedish Championship which meant his dreams of a third successive gold were ended.

1Ferenc NémethHUN5,024Gold
2Imre NagyHUN4,988Silver
3Bob BeckUSA4,981Bronze
4András BalczóHUN4,973
5Igor NovikovURS4,962
6Nikolay TatarinovURS4,758
7Stanisław PrzybylskiPOL4,731
8Jack DanielsUSA4,717
9Kurt LindemanFIN4,713
10Hanno SelgURS4,688
11Patrick HarveyGBR4,679
12Berndt KatterFIN4,628
13Luis RieraARG4,623
14Kazimierz PaszkiewiczPOL4,596
15Per-Erik RitzénSWE4,590
16Eero LohiFIN4,584
17Antonio AlmadaMEX4,566
18George LambertUSA4,540
19Hardy MinderSUI4,527
20Kazimierz MazurPOL4,511
21Sture EricsonSWE4,466
22Sergio EscobedoMEX4,462
23Adriano FacchiniITA4,412
24Don CobleyGBR4,372
25Peter Lichtner-HoyerAUT4,343
26Peter LittleGBR4,294
27Justo BotelhoBRA4,270
28Wolfgang GödickeGER4,262
29Gaetano ScalaITA4,261
30Björn ThofeltSWE4,210
31Neville SayersAUS4,205
32Wenceslau MaltaBRA4,181
33Werner VetterliSUI4,108
34Bill DohertyAUS4,097
35Kazuhiro TanakaJPN4,085
36Carlos StrickerARG4,021
37Udo BirnbaumAUT4,005
38Shigeaki UchinoJPN3,988
39Frank BattigAUT3,905
40Raúl BauzaARG3,888
41Giulio GiuntaITA3,883
42André BernardFRA3,880
43José PérezMEX3,874
44Joaquín VillalbaESP3,867
45Christian BeauvaletFRA3,863
46Peter MackenAUS3,836
47Benny SchmidtDEN3,810
48Dieter KrickowGER3,780
49Rolf WeberSUI3,747
50José WilsonBRA3,520
51Fernando IrayzozESP3,386
52Okkie van GreunenRSA3,378
53Étienne JalenquesFRA3,337
54Arsène PintBEL3,242
55Ralf BerckhanGER3,061
56Lakdar BouzidTUN2,356
57Habib Ben AzzabiTUN1,678
58Ahmed EnnachiTUN1,185
DNFMohamed Ben CheckrounMAR
DNFNaji El-MekkiMAR