| Event type

3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men

Date27 – 29 November 1956
LocationMelbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants23 from 13 countries

There was finally an official world record as the IAAF recognized the steeplechase record in 1954, the first ratified mark being set by Sándor Rozsnyói (HUN) who ran 8:49.6 in winning the 1954 European Championships. That was actually slower than several other previous marks, notably the Olympic record set by Horace Ashenfelter in 1952 (8:45.4). By the time of the Melbourne Olympics, that had been bettered six times, the mark standing at 8:39.8 set by Semyon Rzhishchin in August 1956. Ashenfelter was back but would not qualify for the final. The race was a close group finish over the last lap, six runners remaining together. Norway’s Ernst Larsen had taken the early lead and would not be caught until two laps remained. On the final lap, Britain’s Chris Brasher saw an opening on the inside and moved past Larsen, brushing him as he did, and pulled away to win. Shortly after the finish, Brasher was initially disqualified for this move. But the disqualification was appealed and all the other runners supported Brasher, including Larsen, who said it had made no difference. Brasher is well-known among track fans as one of the pacers who supported Roger Bannister during his world record attempt in 1954 that resulted in the breaking of the four-minute mile barrier.

1226Chris BrasherGBR8:53.8 (4 h2)8:41.2 (1)GoldOR
2656Sándor RozsnyóiHUN8:46.6 (1 h1)8:43.6 (2)Silver
3192Ernst LarsenNOR8:46.8 (3 h1)8:44.0 (3)Bronze
4224Heinz LauferGER8:53.0 (3 h2)8:44.4 (4)
5276Semyon RzhishchinURS8:53.0 (2 h2)8:44.6 (5)
6225John DisleyGBR8:46.6 (2 h1)8:44.6 (6)
7220Neil RobbinsAUS8:55.4 (5 h2)8:50.0 (7)
8227Eric ShirleyGBR8:52.6 (1 h2)8:57.0 (8)
9231Deacon JonesUSA8:47.4 (4 h1)9:13.0 (9)
5 h1 r1/2218Zdzisław KrzyszkowiakPOL8:48.0 (5 h1)– (DNS)
6 h1 r1/2229Horace AshenfelterUSA8:51.0 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2228Gunnar TjörneboSWE9:02.0 (6 h2)
7 h1 r1/2233Vasily VlasenkoURS8:55.0 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/2222Ilkka AuerFIN9:04.0 (7 h2)
8 h1 r1/2164Georgios PapavasileiouGRE8:55.6 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/2655László JeszenszkyHUN9:04.2 (8 h2)
9 h1 r1/2232Yevgeny KadyaykinURS9:09.6 (9 h1)
9 h2 r1/2230Phil ColemanUSA9:10.0 (9 h2)
10 h1 r1/2221Graham ThomasAUS9:09.8 (10 h1)
10 h2 r1/2219Ron BlackneyAUS9:16.0 (10 h2)
11 h1 r1/2206Olavi RinteenpääFIN9:10.0 (11 h1)
AC h1 r1/2203Frans HermanBEL– (DNF h1)
AC h2 r1/2128Eduardo FontecillaCHI– (DNF h2)
DNS217Jerzy ChromikPOL– (DNS h2)

Round One (27 November 1956 — 16:00)

Top five in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
18Sándor RozsnyóiHUN8:46.68:46.89Q
24John DisleyGBR8:46.68:46.93Q
35Ernst LarsenNOR8:46.88:46.96Q
411Deacon JonesUSA8:47.48:47.57Q
53Zdzisław KrzyszkowiakPOL8:48.08:48.29Q
61Horace AshenfelterUSA8:51.08:51.12
76Vasily VlasenkoURS8:55.08:54.99
810Georgios PapavasileiouGRE8:55.68:55.93
97Yevgeny KadyaykinURS9:09.6
109Graham ThomasAUS9:09.8
1112Olavi RinteenpääFIN9:10.0
DNF2Frans HermanBEL

Heat Two

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
111Eric ShirleyGBR8:52.68:52.72Q
23Semyon RzhishchinURS8:53.08:53.18Q
38Heinz LauferGER8:53.08:53.23Q
410Chris BrasherGBR8:53.88:54.19Q
55Neil RobbinsAUS8:55.48:55.62Q
69Gunnar TjörneboSWE9:02.09:02.13
71Ilkka AuerFIN9:04.09:04.57
812László JeszenszkyHUN9:04.29:04.99
97Phil ColemanUSA9:10.0
104Ron BlackneyAUS9:16.0
DNF6Eduardo FontecillaCHI
DNS2Jerzy ChromikPOL

Final (29 November 1956 — 16:00)

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
14Chris BrasherGBR8:41.28:41.35OR
25Sándor RozsnyóiHUN8:43.68:43.68
38Ernst LarsenNOR8:44.08:44.05
410Heinz LauferGER8:44.48:44.53
51Semyon RzhishchinURS8:44.68:44.58
62John DisleyGBR8:44.68:44.79
79Neil RobbinsAUS8:50.08:50.36
87Eric ShirleyGBR8:57.0
93Deacon JonesUSA9:13.0
DNS6Zdzisław KrzyszkowiakPOL