The two favorites should have been Soviet Igor Novikov and Hungarian András Balczó. Novikov was a four-time World Champion but had never won an individual Olympic medal. Balczó was World Champion in 1963 and would continue to win that title thru 1969, but could not compete in Tokyo, as he was in jail for smuggling watches. In his absence, Hungary was led by Ferenc Török, who had been the runner-up at the 1963 Worlds. The riding was a crapshoot as usual with none of the favorites near the top, although the Japanese Organizing Committee had provided excellent horses. But Török won the fencing easily, winning 27 of 36 matches, and took over the lead after two phases. In rapid-fire pistol shooting, Novikov placed equal second, moving into second place overall behind Török, who was equal ninth in the shooting. In the 300 metre freestyle swimming, Novikov placed fifth and Török 23rd, but Török held onto a narrow 19-point lead going into the cross-country run. Novikov was right on Török’s shoulder throughout the run, but could not get past him. Török would place fifth in the run and Novikov sixth. It was enough to give Ferenc Török the gold medal, and Novikov the silver, his first individual medal after four Olympics. After the finish, Török had to be resuscitated with oxygen for about an hour. The medal ceremony was postponed until he was able to participate. He would later become a member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-94) for the Hungarian Liberal Party, SZDSZ.