Rowing at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's single sculls
The men's single sculls competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics took place at Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, Australia. The event was held from 23 to 27 November. There were 12 competitors from 12 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event. The event was won by Vyacheslav Ivanov of the Soviet Union, the nation's second consecutive victory in the men's single sculls. Ivanov was so thrilled when he was presented with his gold medal that he jumped up and down with joy-and dropped the medal into Lake Wendouree. He immediately dived into the lake to retrieve it, but couldn't find it. After the games were over he was given a replacement medal. Stuart Mackenzie took silver, making it the second consecutive Games with an Australian runner-up. American John B. Kelly Jr., after missing the finals in 1948 and 1952 by 0.4 seconds and 0.2 seconds respectively, reached the final and took the bronze medal this time.
|Men's single sculls|
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
|Competitors||12 from 12 nations|
This was the 12th appearance of the event. Rowing had been on the programme in 1896 but was cancelled due to bad weather. The single sculls has been held every time that rowing has been contested, beginning in 1900.
Three of the 18 single scullers from the 1952 Games returned: bronze medalist Teodor Kocerka of Poland, fourth-place finisher Tony Fox of Great Britain, and sixth-place finisher (and 1948 fourth-place finisher) John B. Kelly Jr. of the United States. Kocerka, who had also won the European championships in 1955 and the Diamond Challenge Sculls in 1955 and 1956, was the favorite. The challengers included 1956 European champion Vyacheslav Ivanov of the Soviet Union, 1953 European champion and 1954 Diamond Challenge winner Perica Vlašić of Yugoslavia, 1951 and 1953 Diamond Challenge winner Tony Fox of Great Britain, and Kelly.
Mexico made its debut in the event; East and West Germany competed together as the United Team of Germany for the first time. Great Britain made its 11th appearance, most among nations, having missed only the 1904 Games in St. Louis.
This rowing event was a single scull event, meaning that each boat was propelled by a single rower. The "scull" portion means that the rower used two oars, one on each side of the boat. The course used the 2000 metres distance that became the Olympic standard in 1912.
The competition dropped the second repechage after the semifinals, used in 1952. The tournament featured four rounds: quarterfinals, a repechage, semifinals, and a final.
- Quarterfinals: Three heats of 4 boats each. Top two boats in each heat advance to the semifinals, remaining boats to the repechage. No eliminations.
- Repechage: Two heats of 3 boats each. The winner of each heat rejoined the quarterfinal winners in the semifinals, with the remaining 4 boats (2nd and 3rd in each heat) eliminated.
- Semifinals: Two heats of 4 boats each. The top two boats in each heat advanced to the final, the remaining boats (4 total) were eliminated.
- Final: One heat of 4 boats.
|Friday, 23 November 1956||11:00||Quarterfinals|
|Saturday, 24 November 1956||11:00||Repechage|
|Monday, 26 November 1956||11:00||Semifinals|
|Tuesday, 27 November 1956||15:30||Final|
The quarterfinals were held on 23 November. The first two rowers in each heat advanced to the semifinals, while the others went to the repechage.
|1||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union||7:26.1||Q|
|3||James Hill||New Zealand||7:30.1||R|
|2||Klaus von Fersen||United Team of Germany||7:34.4||Q|
|1||John B. Kelly Jr.||United States||7:24.8||Q|
|3||Tony Fox||Great Britain||7:36.7||R|
The repechage round was held on 24 November, with three rowers for each repechage. The winner of the repechage is qualified for the semifinals.
Repechage heat 1Edit
|1||James Hill||New Zealand||8:29.9||Q|
Repechage heat 2Edit
|3||Tony Fox||Great Britain||9:31.6|
The semifinals were held on 26 November. The first two rowers in each semifinal advanced to the final.
|1||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union||9:02.7||Q|
|3||James Hill||New Zealand||9:12.5|
|4||Klaus von Fersen||United Team of Germany||9:23.2|
|1||John B. Kelly Jr.||United States||9:12.5||Q|
The final round of men's single sculls was held on 27 November.
|Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union||8:02.5|
|John B. Kelly Jr.||United States||8:11.8|
|Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union||7:26.1||Bye||9:02.7||8:02.5|
|John B. Kelly Jr.||United States||7:24.8||Bye||9:12.5||8:11.8|
|5||James Hill||New Zealand||7:30.1||8:29.9||9:12.5||Did not advance|
|6||Klaus von Fersen||United Team of Germany||7:34.4||Bye||9:23.2|
|9||Ferdinand Rabeder||Austria||7:36.0||9:16.4||Did not advance|
|10||Tony Fox||Great Britain||7:36.7||9:31.6|
- "Rowing at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Single Sculls". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- "Single Sculls, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Wallechinsky, David (1984). The Complete Book of the Olympics. England: Penguin Books. p. 348. ISBN 0140066322.
- "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
- The Official Report of the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956 (PDF) (PDF). pp. 542–544.