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| Event type

Foil, Individual, Women

Date29 November 1956
StatusOlympic
LocationTown Hall, St. Kilda, Victoria
Participants23 from 11 countries

For the first time since 1932 no previous Olympic champion appeared in this event. Reigning champion Irene Camber-Corno was expecting a baby whilst Ilona Elek-Schacherer was withdrawn from the Games by the Hungarian authorities after qualifying for the team at the age of 50.

The surprise of the event and of all the fencing competitions was Britain’s Gillian Sheen. Sheen had been national champion since 1951 but had never been more than a fringe contender at the highest level. She started well at the first round stage but struggled at the semi-final stage and only claimed two wins out of five. Sheen had to survive a barrage against world champion Lidia Dömölky to reach the final pool. The Briton lost her opening match to Olga Orban-Szabo of Romania but then went on a run of six victories, mostly nail-bitingly close, that left her level with the Romania on top of the group table. Sheen then avenged two previous losses to Orban to win the gold medal bout.

In the excitement of the victory, the British team manager rushed out to congratulate her, tripped and only narrowly avoided being impaled on her sword. Her win was so surprising that no British journalist thought it worth covering the event.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1Gillian SheenGBRGold
2Olga OrbanROUSilver
3Renée GarilheFRABronze
4Jan RomaryUSA
5Kate DelbarreFRA
6Karen LachmannDEN
7Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
8Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
5 p1 r2/3Emma YefimovaURS
5 p2 r2/3Lidia DömölkyHUN
6 p1 r2/3Maxine MitchellUSA
6 p2 r2/3Pilar RoldánMEX
5 p1 r1/3Velleda CesariITA
5 p2 r1/3Ecaterina OrbROU
5 p3 r1/3Valentina RastvorovaURS
6 p1 r1/3Mary Glen-HaigGBR
6 p2 r1/3Nadezhda ShitikovaURS
6 p3 r1/3Judy GoodrichUSA
7 p1 r1/3Denise O'BrienAUS
7 p2 r1/3Régine VeronnetFRA
7 p3 r1/3Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
8 p2 r1/3Lois JosephAUS
8 p3 r1/3Joy HardonAUS

Round One (29 November 1956 — 8:00)

Top four finishers in each pool advanced to semi-finals.

Pool One

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Maxine MitchellUSA52115Q
2Emma YefimovaURS42110Q
3Lidia DömölkyHUN41914Q
4Kate DelbarreFRA31714Q
5Velleda CesariITA31717
6Mary Glen-HaigGBR21221
7Denise O'BrienAUS0824

Pool One Emma YefimovaURS 4 – 1Maxine MitchellUSA
Pool One Maxine MitchellUSA 4 – 1Lidia DömölkyHUN
Pool One Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 3Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Maxine MitchellUSA 4 – 2Kate DelbarreFRA
Pool One Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 2Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 3Kate DelbarreFRA
Pool One Maxine MitchellUSA 4 – 2Velleda CesariITA
Pool One Emma YefimovaURS 4 – 0Velleda CesariITA
Pool One Velleda CesariITA 4 – 2Lidia DömölkyHUN
Pool One Velleda CesariITA 4 – 1Kate DelbarreFRA
Pool One Maxine MitchellUSA 4 – 3Mary Glen-HaigGBR
Pool One Emma YefimovaURS 4 – 1Mary Glen-HaigGBR
Pool One Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 0Mary Glen-HaigGBR
Pool One Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 0Mary Glen-HaigGBR
Pool One Mary Glen-HaigGBR 4 – 3Velleda CesariITA
Pool One Maxine MitchellUSA 4 – 3Denise O'BrienAUS
Pool One Emma YefimovaURS 4 – 0Denise O'BrienAUS
Pool One Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 1Denise O'BrienAUS
Pool One Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 0Denise O'BrienAUS
Pool One Velleda CesariITA 4 – 2Denise O'BrienAUS
Pool One Mary Glen-HaigGBR 4 – 2Denise O'BrienAUS

Pool Two

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Jan RomaryUSA52317Q
2Ellen Müller-PreisAUT52219Q
3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA42519Q
4Pilar RoldánMEX42223Q
5Ecaterina OrbROU31818
6Nadezhda ShitikovaURS32122
7Régine VeronnetFRA32223
8Lois JosephAUS11829

Pool Two Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 1Jan RomaryUSA
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Pool Two Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 1Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 2Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Pilar RoldánMEX 4 – 3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Pool Two Ecaterina OrbROU 4 – 2Jan RomaryUSA
Pool Two Ecaterina OrbROU 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Pool Two Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 1Ecaterina OrbROU
Pool Two Pilar RoldánMEX 4 – 3Ecaterina OrbROU
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 2Nadezhda ShitikovaURS
Pool Two Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 3Nadezhda ShitikovaURS
Pool Two Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 1Nadezhda ShitikovaURS
Pool Two Nadezhda ShitikovaURS 4 – 3Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Nadezhda ShitikovaURS 4 – 0Ecaterina OrbROU
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 2Régine VeronnetFRA
Pool Two Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 3Régine VeronnetFRA
Pool Two Régine VeronnetFRA 4 – 3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Pool Two Pilar RoldánMEX 4 – 2Régine VeronnetFRA
Pool Two Régine VeronnetFRA 4 – 3Ecaterina OrbROU
Pool Two Régine VeronnetFRA 4 – 2Nadezhda ShitikovaURS
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 1Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 2Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 2Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Pilar RoldánMEX 4 – 3Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Ecaterina OrbROU 4 – 3Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Nadezhda ShitikovaURS 4 – 3Lois JosephAUS
Pool Two Lois JosephAUS 4 – 3Régine VeronnetFRA

Pool Three

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Gillian SheenGBR62710Q
2Olga OrbanROU52117Q
3Renée GarilheFRA52419Q
4Karen LachmannDEN42120Q
5Valentina RastvorovaURS32221
6Judy GoodrichUSA31724
7Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN11520
8Joy HardonAUS01228

Pool Three Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Gillian SheenGBR
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 2Renée GarilheFRA
Pool Three Olga OrbanROU 4 – 2Renée GarilheFRA
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 1Karen LachmannDEN
Pool Three Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 1Olga OrbanROU
Pool Three Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 2Karen LachmannDEN
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 3Valentina RastvorovaURS
Pool Three Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Valentina RastvorovaURS
Pool Three Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 2Valentina RastvorovaURS
Pool Three Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 2Valentina RastvorovaURS
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 0Judy GoodrichUSA
Pool Three Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Judy GoodrichUSA
Pool Three Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 1Judy GoodrichUSA
Pool Three Judy GoodrichUSA 4 – 2Karen LachmannDEN
Pool Three Valentina RastvorovaURS 4 – 1Judy GoodrichUSA
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 0Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
Pool Three Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 3Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
Pool Three Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 2Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
Pool Three Valentina RastvorovaURS 4 – 3Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
Pool Three Judy GoodrichUSA 4 – 3Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN
Pool Three Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 0Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Olga OrbanROU 4 – 2Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 3Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 3Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Valentina RastvorovaURS 4 – 1Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Judy GoodrichUSA 4 – 3Joy HardonAUS
Pool Three Magda Nyári-KovácsHUN 4 – 0Joy HardonAUS

Pool 1 Barrage for 4/5

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Kate DelbarreFRA142
2Velleda CesariITA024

Pool 1 Barrage for 4/5 Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 2Velleda CesariITA

Semi-Finals (29 November 1956 — 15:00)

Top four finishers in each pool advanced to final.

Pool One

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA4162Q
2Karen LachmannDEN4166Q
3Renée GarilheFRA31714Q
4Ellen Müller-PreisAUT21412Q
5Emma YefimovaURS1917
6Maxine MitchellUSA0220

Pool One Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 1Renée GarilheFRA
Pool One Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 2Renée GarilheFRA
Pool One Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 0Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Pool One Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 2Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Pool One Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Pool One Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 1Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 1Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 3Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 0Emma YefimovaURS
Pool One Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 0Maxine MitchellUSA
Pool One Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 1Maxine MitchellUSA
Pool One Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 0Maxine MitchellUSA
Pool One Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 0Maxine MitchellUSA
Pool One Emma YefimovaURS 4 – 0Maxine MitchellUSA

Pool Two

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Kate DelbarreFRA41811Q
2Jan RomaryUSA31513Q
3Olga OrbanROU31514Q
4Gillian SheenGBR21313Q
5Lidia DömölkyHUN21514
6Pilar RoldánMEX1819

Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 2Kate DelbarreFRA
Pool Two Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 3Olga OrbanROU
Pool Two Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Jan RomaryUSA
Pool Two Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 1Gillian SheenGBR
Pool Two Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 0Jan RomaryUSA
Pool Two Olga OrbanROU 4 – 2Gillian SheenGBR
Pool Two Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 2Lidia DömölkyHUN
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 2Lidia DömölkyHUN
Pool Two Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 0Olga OrbanROU
Pool Two Lidia DömölkyHUN 4 – 2Gillian SheenGBR
Pool Two Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 1Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 1Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Olga OrbanROU 4 – 1Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 1Pilar RoldánMEX
Pool Two Pilar RoldánMEX 4 – 3Lidia DömölkyHUN

Pool 2 Barrage for 4/5

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Gillian SheenGBR142
2Lidia DömölkyHUN024

Pool 2 Barrage for 4/5 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 2Lidia DömölkyHUN

Final Pool (29 November 1956)

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
=1Gillian SheenGBR62620
=1Olga OrbanROU62717
3Renée GarilheFRA52614
4Jan RomaryUSA42123
5Kate DelbarreFRA32025
6Karen LachmannDEN21720
7Ellen Müller-PreisAUT12025
8Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA11427

Bout #1 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 2Gillian SheenGBR
Bout #2 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 3Renée GarilheFRA
Bout #3 Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 3Olga OrbanROU
Bout #4 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 2Jan RomaryUSA
Bout #5 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Jan RomaryUSA
Bout #6 Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 0Jan RomaryUSA
Bout #7 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 3Kate DelbarreFRA
Bout #8 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Kate DelbarreFRA
Bout #9 Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 3Renée GarilheFRA
Bout #10 Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 2Kate DelbarreFRA
Bout #11 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 3Karen LachmannDEN
Bout #12 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 2Karen LachmannDEN
Bout #13 Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 0Karen LachmannDEN
Bout #14 Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 3Karen LachmannDEN
Bout #15 Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 0Kate DelbarreFRA
Bout #16 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Bout #17 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Bout #18 Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 1Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Bout #19 Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Bout #20 Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT
Bout #21 Ellen Müller-PreisAUT 4 – 1Karen LachmannDEN
Bout #22 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 2Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #23 Olga OrbanROU 4 – 0Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #24 Renée GarilheFRA 4 – 2Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #25 Jan RomaryUSA 4 – 3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #26 Kate DelbarreFRA 4 – 3Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #27 Karen LachmannDEN 4 – 0Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA
Bout #28 Bruna Colombetti-PeronciniITA 4 – 3Ellen Müller-PreisAUT

Barrage for 1/2

PosCompetitor(s)NOCBouts WonTGTR
1Gillian SheenGBR142
2Olga OrbanROU024

Barrage for 1/2 Gillian SheenGBR 4 – 2Olga OrbanROU