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| Event type

4 x 400 metres Relay, Men

Date30 November – 1 December 1956
StatusOlympic
LocationMelbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants61 from 15 countries

Jamaica was no longer the dominant 4x400 relay team they had been from 1948-52, and the United States was favored in the final. World record holder Lou Jones gave the US the lead on the opening leg. Australia pulled even at the end of 800 metres, but after that the US pulled away for the gold medal. The Australians took silver, with future IOC Member Kevan Gosper running the anchor.

PosNrTeamNOCR1Final
1United StatesUSA3:10.6 (2 h1)3:04.8 (1)Gold
Lou JonesJ. W. MashburnCharlie JenkinsTom CourtneyGlenn Davis (DNS)Jim Lea (DNS)Arnie Sowell (DNS)Lon Spurrier (DNS)
2AustraliaAUS3:10.4 (2 h2)3:06.2 (2)Silver
Leon GregoryDavid LeanGraham GipsonKevan GosperJohn GoodmanRoss Parker (DNS)
3Great BritainGBR3:08.8 (1 h3)3:07.2 (3)Bronze
John SalisburyMike WheelerPeter HigginsDerek JohnsonMichael Farrell (DNS)Tom Farrell (DNS)Harry Kane (DNS)Mike Rawson (DNS)
4Unified Team of GermanyGER3:09.8 (1 h2)3:08.2 (4)
Jürgen KühlWalter ObersteManfred PoerschkeKarl-Friedrich HaasPaul Schmidt (DNS)Horst Mann (DNS)
5CanadaCAN3:10.6 (1 h1)3:10.2 (5)
Laird SloanDoug ClementMurray CockburnTerry TobaccoJoe Foreman (DNS)Dick Harding (DNS)
AC r2/2JamaicaJAM3:11.0 (2 h3)3:11.3 (AC)
Keith GardnerGeorge KerrMal SpenceMel SpenceRichard Estick (DNS)Ernie Haisley (DNS)
3 h1 r1/2CzechoslovakiaTCH3:10.8 (3 h1)
Jaroslav JirásekVáclav JanečekVilém MandlíkJosef TrousilStanislav Jungwirth (DNS)
3 h2 r1/2FranceFRA3:11.8 (3 h2)
Jacques DegatsJean-Paul Martin du GardJean-Pierre GoudeauPierre HaarhoffYves Camus (DNS)Guy Cury (DNS)René Djian (DNS)
3 h3 r1/2Soviet UnionURS3:11.2 (3 h3)
Konstantin GrachovYury LituyevAnatoly YulinArdalion IgnatyevIgor Ilyin (DNS)Yury Bashlikov (DNS)Boris Stolyarov (DNS)
4 h1 r1/2FinlandFIN3:11.4 (4 h1)
Pentti RekolaOssi MildhEero KiveläVoitto HellsténWilhelm Porrassalmi (DNS)Jorma Valkama (DNS)
4 h2 r1/2JapanJPN3:13.8 (4 h2)
Kanji AkagiKeiji OgushiShigeharu SuzukiYoshitaka MuroyaAkira Kiyofuji (DNS)Kyohei Ushio (DNS)
4 h3 r1/2KenyaKEN3:17.6 (4 h3)
Kamau WanyokeKiptalam KeterKibet BoitBartonjo RotichNyandika Maiyoro (DNS)
5 h2 r1/2Puerto RicoPUR3:13.8 (5 h2)
Ovidio de JesúsIsmael DelgadoFrank RiveraIván RodríguezNorberto Cruz (DNS)Amadeo Francis (DNS)
5 h3 r1/2EthiopiaETH3:30.0 (5 h3)
Ajanew BayeneBeyene LegesseMamo WoldeAbebe HailouBekele Haile (DNS)Roba Negousse (DNS)
6 h2 r1/2ColombiaCOL3:27.4 (6 h2)
Carlos SierraGuillermo ZapataAlfonso MuñozJaime Aparicio
DNSLiberiaLBR
George JohnsonEdward MartinsEmmanuel PutuJames Roberts
DNSMalayaMAL
Abdul Rahim bin AhmedManikavagasam HarichandraSinnayah Karuppiah JarabalanLee Kah FookKenneth Perera

Round One (30 November 1956 — 16:35)

Top two in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1CanadaCAN3:10.63:10.59Q
Laird SloanDoug ClementMurray CockburnTerry Tobacco
2United StatesUSA3:10.63:10.60Q
Lou JonesJ. W. MashburnCharlie JenkinsTom Courtney
3CzechoslovakiaTCH3:10.83:10.96
Jaroslav JirásekVáclav JanečekVilém MandlíkJosef Trousil
4FinlandFIN3:11.43:11.52
Pentti RekolaOssi MildhEero KiveläVoitto Hellstén

Heat Two

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)Split (Pos)
1Unified Team of GermanyGER3:09.83:09.88Q
Walter Oberste48.448.4– (–)
97Jürgen Kühl47.81:36.2– (–)
Manfred Poerschke47.82:24.0– (–)
68Karl-Friedrich Haas45.93:09.9– (–)
2AustraliaAUS3:10.43:10.57Q
Leon Gregory– (–)
629John Goodman– (–)
60Graham Gipson– (–)
89Kevan Gosper– (–)
3FranceFRA3:11.83:11.76
94Jacques Degats– (–)
96Jean-Paul Martin du Gard– (–)
665Jean-Pierre Goudeau– (–)
95Pierre Haarhoff– (–)
4JapanJPN3:13.83:13.75
79Kanji Akagi– (–)
270Keiji Ogushi– (–)
144Shigeharu Suzuki– (–)
143Yoshitaka Muroya– (–)
5Puerto RicoPUR3:13.83:13.81
273Ovidio de Jesús– (–)
Ismael Delgado– (–)
150Frank Rivera– (–)
83Iván Rodríguez– (–)
6ColombiaCOL3:27.4
674Carlos Sierra– (–)
676Guillermo Zapata– (–)
678Alfonso Muñoz– (–)
675Jaime Aparicio– (–)

Heat Three

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1Great BritainGBR3:08.83:08.76Q
John SalisburyMike WheelerPeter HigginsDerek Johnson
2JamaicaJAM3:11.03:11.07Q
Keith GardnerGeorge KerrMal SpenceMel Spence
3Soviet UnionURS3:11.23:11.27
Konstantin GrachovYury LituyevAnatoly YulinArdalion Ignatyev
4KenyaKEN3:17.63:17.68
Kamau WanyokeKiptalam KeterKibet BoitBartonjo Rotich
5EthiopiaETH3:30.03:29.93
Ajanew BayeneBeyene LegesseMamo WoldeAbebe Hailou

Final (1 December 1956 — 17:10)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)Split (Pos)
1United StatesUSA3:04.83:04.81
117Lou Jones47.147.147.1 (1)
J. W. Mashburn46.41:33.51:33.5 (=1)
116Charlie Jenkins45.52:19.02:19.0 (1)
153Tom Courtney45.83:04.83:04.8 (1)
2AustraliaAUS3:06.23:06.19
Leon Gregory47.247.247.2 (2)
257David Lean46.31:33.51:33.5 (=1)
60Graham Gipson46.62:20.12:20.1 (2)
89Kevan Gosper46.13:06.23:06.2 (2)
3Great BritainGBR3:07.23:07.19
100John Salisbury47.647.647.6 (4)
101Mike Wheeler46.81:34.41:34.4 (3)
99Peter Higgins46.32:20.72:20.7 (3)
137Derek Johnson46.53:07.23:07.2 (3)
4Unified Team of GermanyGER3:08.23:08.27
97Jürgen Kühl47.547.547.5 (3)
Walter Oberste47.31:34.81:34.8 (4)
Manfred Poerschke47.02:21.82:21.8 (4)
68Karl-Friedrich Haas46.43:08.23:08.2 (4)
5CanadaCAN3:10.23:10.33
91Laird Sloan48.248.248.2 (5)
127Doug Clement47.81:36.01:36.0 (5)
90Murray Cockburn47.52:23.52:23.5 (5)
92Terry Tobacco46.73:10.23:10.2 (5)
ACJamaicaJAM3:11.33:11.50DQ
23Keith Gardner– (–)
103George Kerr– (–)
77Mal Spence– (–)
78Mel Spence– (–)