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1956 Olympic Games Melbourne, Australia - Men's 50 km Walk



Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Date Started: November 24, 1956
Date Finished: November 24, 1956
(Competitors: 21; Countries: 10)
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Overview by IAAF  1956_melbournestadium.jpg
Read had emigrated to New Zealand in 1954, and wrote to the British AAA asking permission to represent Great Britain in the Olympics, which was refused. He then won the Australian trials as a guest and earned selection for New Zealand. The fastest man in the field was Georgiy Klimov (URS) with 4:05:12, but Klimov withdrew just after 40Km while in third place, having used too much energy gaining four places in the previous 20Km. His teammate Maskinskov led by 47 seconds at 40Km, after holding a lead of almost two and-a-half minutes at 30Km. Read was closing fast, and passed the Russian at 42Km, going on to win by more than two minutes, with veteran Ljunggren third, well clear of future star Pamich, and Helsinki medallist Róka.
Summary by
Norman Read was a native of Britain, having been born in Portsmouth, but growing up in Steyning, Sussex. In 1954 he emigrated to New Zealand but wrote the British AAA, asking if he could represent them at the 1956 Olympics. He was rebuffed. He then requested the same of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, but they were also not interested, preferring the spot to go a native New Zealander. But in September, two months before the Games, he won the Australian championships in 4-30:16.4 over the Olympic course in Melbourne, and the New Zealand Olympic Committee was suddenly interested in him, adding Read to the team at the last moment. The early leader in the race was Yevgeny Maskinskov (URS). Read was second but well back at 30 km. He then put on a steady surge and caught Maskinskov at 42 km, and pulled away decisively.
50 km Walk Men Final 24 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 4-30.42.8 Norman Read New Zealand NZL 25
2 4-32.57.0 Yevgeny Maskinskov Soviet Union URS 25
3 4-35.02.0 John Ljunggren Sweden SWE 37
4 4-39.00.0 Abdon Pamich Italy ITA 23
5 4-50.09.0 Antal Róka Hungary HUN 29
6 4-56.08.0 Ray Smith Australia AUS 27
7 5-00.16.0 Adolf Weinacker United States USA 28
8 5-02.19.0 Albert Johnson Great Britain GBR 25
9 5-03.59.0 Eric Hall Great Britain GBR 24
10 5-08.33.6 Ion Barbu Romania ROU 26
11 5-12.14.0 Elliott Denman United States USA 22
12 5-12.34.0 Leo Sjogren United States USA 42
13 5-22.36.0 Ronald Crawford Australia AUS 20
AC DNF Don Thompson Great Britain GBR 23
AC DNF Dumitru Paraschivescu Romania ROU 33
AC DNF Grigory Klimov Soviet Union URS 23
AC DNF János Somogyi Hungary HUN 34
AC DNF Josef Doležal Czechoslovakia TCH 35
AC DNF Milan Skřont Czechoslovakia TCH 25
AC DQ Ted Allsopp Australia AUS 30
AC DQ Mikhail Lavrov Soviet Union URS 29




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