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
1st, gold medalist(s) Charlie Jenkins  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Karl-Friedrich Haas  United Team of Germany
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Voitto Hellstén  Finland
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Ardalion Ignatyev  Soviet Union
← 1952
1960 →
Athletics at the
1956 Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics.png
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  United Team of 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  United Team of 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  United Team of 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  United Team of 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  United Team of 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  United Team of 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)
1st, gold medalist(s) Charlie Jenkins  United States 46.7 46.86
2nd, silver medalist(s) Karl-Friedrich Haas  United Team of Germany 46.8 47.12
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Voitto Hellstén  Finland 47.0 47.15
3rd, bronze medalist(s) 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]