| Event type

200 metres Breaststroke, Men

Date30 November – 6 December 1956
LocationOlympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants21 from 17 countries

For the first time at the Olympics, breaststroke and butterfly were split into separate disciplines, but they still generated controversy as nearly a third of the entrants were disqualified for using illegal strokes.The most notable of those excluded being 1952 medallist Herbert Klein, who was punished after winning one of the heats.

Japan returned to breaststroke swimming pre-eminence in 1956. Japan had dominated in the immediate pre-war years but had failed to win a medal in the event for 20 years. Masaru Furukawa won gold using a technique that kept him underwater for more than a quarter of the race with his slightly more visible teammate Masahiro Yoshimura narrowly defeating Kharis Yunichev to the silver medal. Yunichev was the first Soviet swimmer to claim an Olympic medal.

1Masaru FurukawaJPN2:36.1 (1 h1)2:34.7 (1)Gold
2Masahiro YoshimuraJPN2:38.6 (1 h3)2:36.7 (2)Silver
3Kharis YunichevURS2:41.2 (2 h3)2:36.8 (3)Bronze
4Terry GathercoleAUS2:40.2 (2 h2)2:38.7 (4)
5Igor ZasedaURS2:40.1 (1 h2)2:39.0 (5)
6Knud GleieDEN2:36.4 (2 h1)2:40.0 (6)
7Manuel SanguilyCUB2:41.8 (3 h2)2:42.0 (7)
AC r2/2Hugues BroussardFRA2:43.0 (3 h3)– (AC)DQ
9Gilbert DesmitBEL2:43.5 (4 h3)
10Farid DosayevURS2:43.9 (3 h1)
11Christopher WalkdenGBR2:47.1 (5 h3)
12Louis KozmaBEL2:48.4 (4 h1)
13René KohnLUX2:50.9 (4 h2)
14Bob HughesUSA2:52.2 (6 h3)
15Shamsher KhanIND3:17.0 (5 h1)
16István Szívós, Sr.HUN3:18.7 (5 h2)
ACOtávio MobigliaBRA– (AC h1)DQ
ACParsons NabiulaPHI– (AC h1)DQ
ACÁlvaro GómezCOL– (AC h2)DQ
ACHerbert KleinGER– (AC h2)DQ
ACGhulam RasulPAK– (AC h3)DQ

Round One (30 November 1956 — 20:20)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

15Masaru FurukawaJPN2:36.1Q
26Knud GleieDEN2:36.4Q
33Farid DosayevURS2:43.9
44Louis KozmaBEL2:48.4
57Shamsher KhanIND3:17.0
AC1Otávio MobigliaBRADQ
AC2Parsons NabiulaPHIDQ

Heat Two

13Igor ZasedaURS2:40.1Q
26Terry GathercoleAUS2:40.2Q
32Manuel SanguilyCUB2:41.8Q
44René KohnLUX2:50.9
57István Szívós, Sr.HUN3:18.7
AC1Álvaro GómezCOLDQ
AC5Herbert KleinGERDQ

Heat Three

16Masahiro YoshimuraJPN2:38.6Q
23Kharis YunichevURS2:41.2Q
35Hugues BroussardFRA2:43.0Q
44Gilbert DesmitBEL2:43.5
57Christopher WalkdenGBR2:47.1
61Bob HughesUSA2:52.2
AC2Ghulam RasulPAKDQ

Final (6 December 1956 — 19:30)

14Masaru FurukawaJPN2:34.7
23Masahiro YoshimuraJPN2:36.7
37Kharis YunichevURS2:36.8
42Terry GathercoleAUS2:38.7
56Igor ZasedaURS2:39.0
65Knud GleieDEN2:40.0
71Manuel SanguilyCUB2:42.0
AC8Hugues BroussardFRADQ