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

Water polo

Contents

Medallists

Gold Silver Bronze
Hungary
Antal Bolvári
Ottó Boros
Dezső Gyarmati
István Hevesi
László Jeney
Tivadar Kanizsa
György Kárpáti
Kálmán Markovits
Mihály Mayer
István Szivós
Ervin Zádor
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.

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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

Nation Pld. Win Loss Tie GF GA Points
 Yugoslavia 3 3 0 0 15 5 6
 Soviet Union 3 2 1 0 9 6 4
 Romania 3 1 2 0 9 9 2
 Australia 3 0 3 0 3 16 0

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

Nation Pld. Win Loss Tie GF GA Points
 Hungary 2 2 0 0 12 3 4
 United States 2 1 1 0 7 9 2
 Great Britain 2 0 2 0 4 11 0

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

Nation Pld. Win Loss Tie GF GA Points
 Italy 2 2 0 0 11 3 4
 Germany 2 1 1 0 7 5 2
 Singapore 2 0 2 0 2 12 0

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.

Championship

The most famous water polo match in history is 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, and the pool reputedly turned red from the blood spilt. The Hungarians lead the Soviets 4-0 before the game was called off in the final minute to prevent angry Hungarians in the crowd reacting to Valentin Prokopov punching Ervin Zador's eye open. The Hungarians continued to win the championship by defeating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final. Half of the Hungarian Olympic delegation defected after the games.

Rank Nation Pld. Win Loss Tie GF GA Points
1  Hungary 5 5 0 0 20 3 10
2  Yugoslavia 5 3 1 1 13 8 7
3  Soviet Union 5 3 2 0 14 14 6
4  Italy 5 2 3 0 10 13 4
5  United States 5 1 4 0 10 20 2
6  Germany 5 0 4 1 11 20 1

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

  • 15:25 - Hungary def. Soviet Union, 4-0
  • 21:55 - Yugoslavia def. Italy, 2-1

7 December

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

Consolation

Rank Nation Pld. Win Loss Tie GF GA Points
7  Great Britain 3 3 0 0 21 9 6
8  Romania 3 2 1 0 21 8 4
9  Australia 3 1 2 0 7 11 2
10  Singapore 3 0 3 0 8 29 0
  • 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

References


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