Water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics

Last updated
Water polo
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
Venues Swimming and Diving Stadium
Date 28 November – 7 December 1956
Competitors 96 from 10 nations
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s)  Hungary
2nd, silver medalist(s)  Yugoslavia
3rd, bronze medalist(s)  Soviet Union
  1952
1960  

Ten nations competed in water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. The event was open only to men's teams.

Contents

Medallists

GoldSilverBronze
  Hungary
Antal Bolvári
Ottó Boros
Dezső Gyarmati
István Hevesi
László Jeney
Tivadar Kanizsa
György Kárpáti
Kálmán Markovits
Mihály Mayer
István Szivós
Ervin Zádor
Miklos Martin
  Yugoslavia
Ivo Cipci
Tomislav Franjković
Vladimir Ivković
Zdravko Ježić
Hrvoje Kačić
Zdravko-Ćiro Kovačić
Lovro Radonjić
Marijan Žužej
  Soviet Union
Viktor Ageev
Pyotr Breus
Boris Goykhman
Nodar Gvakhariya
Vyacheslav Kurennoy
Boris Markarov
P'et're Mshveniyeradze
Valentin Prokopov
Mikhail Ryzhak
Yury Shlyapin

Results

For the team rosters see: Water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's team squads .

Preliminary round

The preliminary round consisted of a round-robin tournament held in three groups. Each team played the other teams in its group once.

Group A

NationPld.WinLossTieGFGAPoints
  Yugoslavia 33001556
  Soviet Union 3210964
  Romania 3120992
  Australia 30303160

28 November

  • 14:00 - Romania def. Australia, 4-2
  • 19:30 - Yugoslavia def. Soviet Union, 3-2

29 November

  • 21:15 - Soviet Union def. Romania, 4-3
  • 22:15 - Yugoslavia def. Australia, 9-1

30 November

  • 10:30 - Yugoslavia def. Romania, 3-2
  • 16:00 - Soviet Union def. Australia, 3-0

Group B

NationPld.WinLossTieGFGAPoints
  Hungary 22001234
  United States 2110792
  Great Britain 20204110

28 November

  • 20:30 - United States def. Great Britain, 5-3

29 November

  • 15:45 - Hungary def. Great Britain, 6-1

30 November

  • 11:30 - Hungary def. United States, 6-2

Group C

NationPld.WinLossTieGFGAPoints
  Italy 22001134
  Germany 2110752
  Singapore 20202120

28 November

  • 15:00 - Germany def. Singapore, 5-1

29 November

  • 16:45 - Italy def. Singapore, 7-1

30 November

  • 22:10 - Italy def. Germany, 4-2

Final round

The top two teams in each preliminary group advanced to the championship, in which they played each of the four other championship teams they had not previously faced. The results of the preliminary round game against the team from their group carried over into the final round.

The teams that did not advance to the championship played in a consolation tournament.

External images
Ervin Zádor leaving the pool with a cut eye (National Library of Australia). [1]
First-aid officer escorting Ervin Zádor to the medical room for treatment of his cut eye (National Library of Australia). [1]
Ervin Zádor in the medical room, receiving treatment, protected by a police officer (National Library of Australia) [1]
Ervin Zádor’s cut eye (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]
Ervin Zádor’s cut eye (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]
Spectators invading the concourse (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]
Spectators invading the concourse (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]
Spectators invading the concourse (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]
Spectators invading the concourse (Public Record Office Victoria) [1]

Championship

The most famous water polo match in history was the semi-finals round match between Hungary and the Soviet Union. As the athletes left for the games, the Hungarian Revolution started and was crushed by the Soviet army. Many of the Hungarian athletes vowed never to return home and felt their only means of fighting back was in the pool.

With only two games left for each team, the Hungarians were leading in the standings, 1 point ahead of Yugoslavia and 2 ahead of the Soviets. A Soviet victory would have put them alongside the Hungarians in the standings, with the final match pairings favoring the Soviets, who would face the last-place Germans while Hungary had to compete with Yugoslavia. A Hungarian victory would ensure at least a silver medal for the team, with a draw or a win against Yugoslavia in the last game meaning gold.

The Hungary-Soviet Union confrontation was extremely bloody and violent, riddled with penalties, and the pool was later depicted as turning red from the blood spilt. The Hungarians led the Soviets 4-0 before the game was called off in the final minute to prevent angry spectators, many of them Hungarian immigrants to Australia, reacting to Valentin Prokopov punching Ervin Zador's eye open. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] The Hungarians went on to win the gold medal by defeating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final. Half of the Hungarian Olympic delegation defected after the Games. [9] [10] [11] [12]

RankNationPld.WinLossTieGFGAPoints
1  Hungary 550020310
2  Yugoslavia 53111387
3  Soviet Union 532014146
4  Italy 523010134
5  United States 514010202
6  Germany 504111201

1 December

  • 14:40 - Soviet Union def. Italy, 3-2
  • 22:40 - Yugoslavia def. United States, 5-1

3 December

  • 16:50 - United States def. Germany, 4-3
  • 21:30 - Hungary def. Italy, 4-0

4 December

  • 15:40 - Yugoslavia tied Germany, 2-2
  • 21:00 - Italy def. United States, 3-2

5 December

  • 16:40 - Soviet Union def. United States, 3-1
  • 22:20 - Hungary def. Germany, 4-0

6 December

7 December

  • 14:00 - Soviet Union def. Germany, 6-4
  • 21:20 - Hungary def. Yugoslavia, 2-1

Consolation

RankNationPld.WinLossTieGFGAPoints
7  Great Britain 33002196
8  Romania 32102184
9  Australia 31207112
10  Singapore 30308290
  • Great Britain def. Singapore, 11-5
  • Great Britain def. Australia, 5-2
  • Romania def. Singapore, 15-1
  • Great Britain def. Romania, 5-2
  • Australia def. Singapore, 3-2
  • Romania def. Australia, 4-2

See also

Footnotes