Rowing at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's coxed four

The men's coxed four competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics took place at Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, Australia. It was held from 23 to 27 November and was won by the team from Italy.[1] There were 10 boats (50 competitors) from 10 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event.[2] Italy had previously won this event in 1928, tying Switzerland for second-most wins among nations. Sweden (silver) and Finland (bronze) each won their first medal in the men's coxed four. Switzerland had its three-Games silver-medal streak broken, without a Swiss crew competing.

Men's coxed four
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
Rowing pictogram.svg
Rowing pictogram
VenueLake Wendouree
Dates23–27 November
Competitors50 from 10 nations
Winning time7:19.4
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s)  Italy
 Italy
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Sweden
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Finland
← 1952
1960 →

BackgroundEdit

This was the 10th appearance of the event. Rowing had been on the programme in 1896 but was cancelled due to bad weather. The coxed four was one of the four initial events introduced in 1900. It was not held in 1904 or 1908, but was held at every Games from 1912 to 1992 when it (along with the men's coxed pair) was replaced with the men's lightweight double sculls and men's lightweight coxless four.[2]

There was no clear favourite for the event. No nation had won the European Rowing Championships since the previous Olympic Games more than once. Only the Soviet Union had won a European Rowing Championship medal twice since 1952. Italy had come third at the 1956 European Rowing Championships.[1]

No nations made their debut in the event. The United States made its eighth appearance, most among nations to that point. Notable absences included France (previously tied with the United States for most appearances at seven) and Switzerland (which had won gold or silver in each of their six appearances).

Competition formatEdit

The coxed four event featured five-person boats, with four rowers and a coxswain. It was a sweep rowing event, with the rowers each having one oar (and thus each rowing on one side). The competition used the 2000 metres distance that became standard at the 1912 Olympics and which has been used ever since except at the 1948 Games.[3]

The competition venue had five lanes, but the organising committee had restricted races to four teams. This allowed for changing wind conditions, where the most affected lane could be left unused.[4] Ten teams from ten nations attended the competition.[1] On all days, the coxed four were the first races held of the day.[5]

The competition featured four rounds (three main rounds and a repechage).

  • Quarterfinals: 3 heats, 3 or 4 boats each, top 2 in each heat (6 total) advanced to the semifinals while others (4 boats) went to the repechage.
  • Repechage: 2 heats, 2 boats each, top 1 in each heat (2 total) advanced to the semifinals while all others (2 boats) were eliminated.
  • Semifinals: 2 heats, 4 boats each, top 2 in each heat (4 total) advanced to the final while all others (4 boats) were eliminated.
  • Final: 1 heat, 4 boats, determining medals and 4th place.

ScheduleEdit

All times are Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC+10)

Date Time Round
Friday, 23 November 1956 9:30 Quarterfinals
Saturday, 24 November 1956 9:30 Repechage
Monday, 26 November 1956 10:00 Semifinals
Tuesday, 27 November 1956 14:30 Final

ResultsEdit

QuarterfinalsEdit

Three heats were rowed on 23 November.[6] Two of the heats had three teams and one had four teams, with the first two teams to qualify for the semi-final, and the remaining teams progressing to the round one repechage.[7]

Quarterfinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Ivo Stefanoni   Italy 7:00.0 Q
2 Anatoly Fetisov   Soviet Union 7:07.5 Q
3 Colin Johnstone   New Zealand 7:16.2 R

Quarterfinal 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Bertil Göransson   Sweden 6:57.9 Q
2 John Vilhelmsen   Denmark 7:05.3 Q
3 Matti Niemi   Finland 7:16.2 R

Quarterfinal 3Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Edward Masterson   United States 7:01.8 Q
2 John Jenkinson   Australia 7:01.9 Q
3 Sylvio de Souza   Brazil 7:13.9 R
4 Virgilio Ara   Cuba 7:14.3 R

RepechageEdit

Four boats competed in the one repechage on 24 November in two heats, with the winner qualifying for the semi-final.[8][9]

Repechage heat 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Colin Johnstone   New Zealand 7:16.6 Q
2 Virgilio Ara   Cuba 7:28.2

Repechage heat 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Matti Niemi   Finland 7:09.8 Q
2 Sylvio de Souza   Brazil 7:25.7

SemifinalsEdit

Two heats were rowed in the semi-finals on 26 November, with the top two teams qualifying for the final.[8][10]

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Ivo Stefanoni   Italy 7:54.4 Q
2 John Jenkinson   Australia 7:59.8 Q
3 John Vilhelmsen   Denmark 8:08.4
4 Colin Johnstone   New Zealand 8:30.7

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Bertil Göransson   Sweden 8:01.8 Q
2 Matti Niemi   Finland 8:08.1 Q
3 Anatoly Fetisov   Soviet Union 8:14.0
4 Edward Masterson   United States 8:24.3

FinalEdit

Four teams reached the final, which was decided in one race held on 27 November.[8][11] The team from Italy, which had won its heat and semi-final, won the final in an unremarkable race leading from start to finish.[12]

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
  Ivo Stefanoni   Italy 7:19.4
  Bertil Göransson   Sweden 7:22.4
  Matti Niemi   Finland 7:30.9
4 John Jenkinson   Australia 7:31.1

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Coxed Fours, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  4. ^ Official Report of the Organising Committee 1958, p. 535.
  5. ^ Official Report of the Organising Committee 1958, p. 540.
  6. ^ Official Report of the Organising Committee 1958, p. 537.
  7. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Round One". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Official Report of the Organising Committee 1958, p. 550.
  9. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Round One Repêchage". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  10. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Semi-Finals". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  11. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Final Round". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  12. ^ Official Report of the Organising Committee 1958, p. 539.

ReferencesEdit