Athletics at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres

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Men's 400 metres
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
Venue Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date 28 November 1956 & 29 November 1956
Competitors 42 from 23 nations
Medalists
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    Germany
Bronze medal    Finland
Bronze medal    Soviet Union
«1952 1960»
Athletics at the
1956 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
steeplechase
men
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Decathlon men

These are the official results of the Men's 400 metres event at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. The competition was held on 28 & 29 of November. Times are listed as both hand timing and automatic timing. Hand timing was the official time used in the 1956 Olympics.

Heats[edit]

The top three runners in each of the eight heats, advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Lou Jones United States 48.1 48.30
2 Murray Cockburn Canada 49.0 49.07
3 Abdullah Khan Pakistan 49.0 49.19
4 Konstantin Grachev Soviet Union 49.4 49.58
5 Beyene Legesse Ethiopia 50.7 50.83
- Kanji Akagi Japan DQ

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Terry Tobacco Canada 47.9 47.92
2 Jacques Degats France 48.3 48.32
3 Jim Lea United States 48.3 48.41
4 Bartonjo Rotich Kenya 48.8 48.90
5 Jaime Aparicio Colombia 49.0 49.14
6 Pablo Somblingo Philippines 49.4 49.50
7 Kenneth Perera Malaya no time 51.96

Heat three

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Malcolm Spence South Africa 47.7 47.77
2 Jürgen Kühl Germany 48.7 48.74
3 Charlie Jenkins United States 48.7 48.82
4 Abebe Hailou Ethiopia 49.0 49.18
5 Abdul Karim Amu Nigeria 49.4 49.57

Heat four

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Voitto Hellstén Finland 48.4 48.52
2 Mike Wheeler Great Britain 49.3 49.37
3 Kibet Boit Kenya 49.3 49.48
4 Laird Sloan Canada 50.0 50.18
5 Somsakdi Tongaram Thailand 53.4 53.61

Heat five

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Karl-Friedrich Haas Germany 47.2 47.29
2 Graham Gipson Australia 47.7 47.87
3 John Salisbury Great Britain 47.7 47.95
4 Milkha Singh India 48.9 49.07

Heat six

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Ardalion Ignatyev Soviet Union 48.6 48.69
2 George Kerr Jamaica 49.7 49.74
3 Pierre Haarhoff France 49.8 49.99
4 Kamau Wanyoke Kenya 50.6 50.74

Heat seven

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Kevan Gosper Australia 48.0 48.07
2 Mal Spence Jamaica 48.2 48.31
3 Iván Rodríuez Puerto Rico 48.8 48.86
4 Gérard Rasquin Luxembourg 50.6 50.76
5 Abdul Rahim bin Ahmed Malaya 50.8 50.93
6 George Johnson Liberia 54.8 -

Heat eight

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Peter Higgins Great Britain 47.9 47.98
2 Mel Spence Jamaica 47.9 48.00
3 Jean-Paul Martin du Gard France 48.3 48.39
4 John Goodman Australia 48.5 48.73
5 Ajanew Bayene Ethiopia 51.3 51.53
- Horst Mann Germany DNF

Quarterfinals[edit]

The top three runners in each of the four heats, advanced to the semifinal round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Lou Jones United States 47.4 47.42
2 John Salisbury Great Britain 47.4 47.60
3 Iván Rodríguez Puerto Rico 47.5 47.64
4 Terry Tobacco Canada 47.7 47.79
5 Jürgen Kühl Germany 48.0 48.23
6 Abdullah Khan Pakistan DNS

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Ardalion Ignatyev Soviet Union 46.8 46.88
2 Mal Spence Jamaica 47.4 47.42
3 Peter Higgins Great Britain 47.4 47.43
4 Graham Gipson Australia 47.4 47.45
5 Jacques Degats France 48.7 48.79
6 Murray Cockburn Canada 49.5 49.74

Heat three

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Voitto Hellstén Finland 46.8 46.85
2 Malcolm Spence South Africa 47.1 47.08
3 Mel Spence Jamaica 47.3 47.38
4 Pierre Haarhoff France 47.6 47.82
5 Jim Lea United States 48.1 48.33
6 Kibet Boit Kenya 49.1 49.18

Heat four

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Kevan Gosper Australia 46.7 46.83
2 Karl-Friedrich Haas Germany 47.3 47.37
3 Charlie Jenkins United States 47.5 47.63
4 George Kerr Jamaica 47.7 47.79
5 Mike Wheeler Great Britain 47.9 48.05
6 Jean-Paul Martin du Gard France 48.2 48.37

Semifinals[edit]

Top three in each of the two heats advanced to the final round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Ardalion Ignatyev Soviet Union 46.8 46.93
2 Malcolm Spence South Africa 47.2 47.27
3 Lou Jones United States 47.3 47.32
4 Mel Spence Jamaica 47.5 47.58
5 Peter Higgins Great Britain 47.7 47.65
6 Iván Rodríguez Puerto Rico 47.7 47.86

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Charlie Jenkins United States 46.1 46.19
2 Voitto Hellstén Finland 46.1 46.20
3 Karl-Friedrich Haas Germany 46.2 46.29
4 Kevan Gosper Australia 46.2 46.45
5 John Salisbury Great Britain 47.3 47.47
6 Mal Spence Jamaica 47.4 47.52

Final[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Time (auto)
1 Charlie Jenkins United States 46.7 46.86
2 Karl-Friedrich Haas Germany 46.8 47.12
3 Voitto Hellstén Finland 47.0 47.15
3 Ardalion Ignatyev Soviet Union 47.0 47.15
5 Lou Jones United States 48.1 48.35
6 Malcolm Spence South Africa 48.3 48.40

References[edit]