Swimming at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle

The men's 100 metre freestyle event at the 1956 Olympic Games took place between November 29 and 30.[1] This swimming event used freestyle swimming, which means that the method of the stroke is not regulated (unlike backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly events). Nearly all swimmers use the front crawl or a variant of that stroke. Because an Olympic-size swimming pool is 50 metres long, this race consisted of two lengths of the pool.


GoldJon Henricks
SilverJohn Devitt
BronzeGary Chapman



Five heats were held, the fastest sixteen swimmers advanced to the Semifinal Round. The swimmers that advanced are highlighted.

Heat One

Rank Athlete Country Time
1Jon HenricksAustralia57.3
2Dick HanleyUnited States57.8
3Billy SteuartSouth Africa59.2
4Lev BalandinSoviet Union59.6
5Hans KöhlerGermany59.8
5Karri KäyhköFinland59.8
7André LaurentBelgium1:00.7

Heat Two

Rank Athlete Country Time
1Manabu KogaJapan57.7
2Aldo EminenteFrance58.0
3Vitaly SorokinSoviet Union58.6
4Cheung Kin ManHong Kong59.8
5Horst BleekerGermany1:00.1
6Sergio MartínezColombia1:00.2
7Peter DuncanSouth Africa1:00.4

Heat Three

Rank Athlete Country Time
1John DevittAustralia57.2
2Paolo PucciItaly58.3
3Hiroshi SuzukiJapan58.4
3Paul VoellGermany58.4
5Kenneth WilliamsGreat Britain59.4
6Dennis FordSouth Africa59.5
7Sri Chand BajajIndia1:01.6

Heat Four

Rank Athlete Country Time
1 Reid Patterson United States 56.8
2 Atsushi Tani Japan 57.1
3 Carlo Pedersoli Italy 58.5
4 Haroldo Lara Brazil 59.9
5 Habib Nasution Indonesia 1:00.1
6 Alex Jany France 1:00.2

Heat Five

Rank Athlete Country Time
1 Gary Chapman Australia 57.8
2 Bill Woolsey United States 58.2
3 Ronald Roberts Great Britain 58.3
4 Gyula Dobay Hungary 58.5
5 George Park Canada 58.8
6 Dakula Arabani Philippines 1:00.2
7 Wan Shiu Ming Hong Kong 1:00.7


Two heats were held; the swimmers with the fastest eight times advanced to the Final Round. The swimmers that advanced are highlighted.

Semifinal One

Rank Athlete Country Time
1 Jon Henricks Australia 55.7
2 Dick Hanley United States 56.9
3 Atsushi Tani Japan 57.4
4 Aldo Eminente France 58.0
5 Hiroshi Suzuki Japan 58.0
6 Vitaly Sorokin Soviet Union 58.2
7 Paolo Pucci Italy 58.8
8 Carlo Pedersoli Italy 59.0

Semifinal Two

Rank Athlete Country Time
1John DevittAustralia56.4
2Gary ChapmanAustralia56.9
3Reid PattersonUnited States57.1
4Bill WoolseyUnited States58.0
5Gyula DobayHungary58.1
6Manabu KogaJapan58.1
7Paul VoellGermany58.6
8Ronald RobertsGreat Britain58.9


Jon Henricks Australia55.4WR
John Devitt Australia55.8
Gary Chapman Australia56.7
4Reid Patterson United States57.2
5Dick Hanley United States57.6
6Bill Woolsey United States57.6
7Atsushi Tani Japan58.0
8Aldo Eminente France58.1

Key: WR = World record


  1. "Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's 100 metres Freestyle". Sports Reference. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
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