| Event type

200 metres Butterfly, Men

Date30 November – 1 December 1956
LocationOlympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants19 from 14 countries

The butterfly stroke had débuted at the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin as a new variant of breaststroke and by the Helsinki Games had proved to be so superior as to render the original technique worthless. The decision was then made to tighten the breaststroke rules and split butterfly into a new discipline.

American Bill Yorzyk proved himself to be a class above the rest and set world records in both heat and final. Yorzyk’s achievement is made more remarkable if you consider that he had not swum competitively until his first year of college. His coach at Springfield College, Red Silva, encouraged him to experiment with a “double-dolphin kick” which in only four years took him from novice to Olympic champion. Yorzyk retired prior to the 1960 Games but returned to the Olympic Games in 1964 as associate physician to the US delegation.

The silver medal went to 100 metre specialist Takashi Ishimoto of Japan with Hungary’s György Tumpek a very close third.

1Bill YorzykUSA2:18.6 (1 h1)2:19.3 (1)Gold
2Takashi IshimotoJPN2:24.2 (1 h2)2:23.8 (2)Silver
3György TumpekHUN2:23.3 (1 h3)2:23.9 (3)Bronze
4Jack NelsonUSA2:29.4 (4 h2)2:26.6 (4)
5John MarshallAUS2:26.8 (2 h1)2:27.2 (5)
6Eulalio RíosMEX2:28.1 (3 h2)2:27.3 (6)
7Brian WilkinsonAUS2:27.2 (2 h2)2:29.7 (7)
8Alexandru PopescuROU2:29.9 (3 h1)2:31.0 (8)
9René PirolleyFRA2:30.1 (4 h1)
10Jenő ÁtsHUN2:31.1 (5 h1)
11Horst WeberGER2:34.4 (2 h3)
12Graham SymondsGBR2:35.7 (3 h3)
13Walter OcampoMEX2:41.4 (6 h1)
14Agapito LozadaPHI2:43.5 (4 h3)
15George ParkCAN2:47.2 (5 h3)
16Shah GhaziPAK2:48.0 (6 h3)
17Fong Seow HorMAL2:56.0 (7 h3)
18Parsons NabiulaPHI3:03.2 (5 h2)
19Shamsher KhanIND3:06.3 (6 h2)

Round One (30 November 1956 — 14:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

13Bill YorzykUSA2:18.6QOR
24John MarshallAUS2:26.8Q
37Alexandru PopescuROU2:29.9Q
45René PirolleyFRA2:30.1
56Jenő ÁtsHUN2:31.1
62Walter OcampoMEX2:41.4

Heat Two

15Takashi IshimotoJPN2:24.2Q
26Brian WilkinsonAUS2:27.2Q
34Eulalio RíosMEX2:28.1Q
43Jack NelsonUSA2:29.4Q
52Parsons NabiulaPHI3:03.2
67Shamsher KhanIND3:06.3

Heat Three

14György TumpekHUN2:23.3Q
26Horst WeberGER2:34.4
35Graham SymondsGBR2:35.7
48Agapito LozadaPHI2:43.5
53George ParkCAN2:47.2
62Shah GhaziPAK2:48.0
77Fong Seow HorMAL2:56.0

Final (1 December 1956 — 20:55)

14Bill YorzykUSA2:19.3
23Takashi IshimotoJPN2:23.8
35György TumpekHUN2:23.9
41Jack NelsonUSA2:26.6
56John MarshallAUS2:27.2
67Eulalio RíosMEX2:27.3
72Brian WilkinsonAUS2:29.7
88Alexandru PopescuROU2:31.0