The men and women of track and field who come to the Olympics from more than 50 countries are already rich in the coin of amateurism, the winner's medal. They are now at Melbourne in quest of the greatest of these honors, the Olympic gold medal shown above. Many of the leading claimants pictured on the following pages are newcomers with strong chances, but there are also veterans—Discus Thrower Fortune Gordien, and Vaulter Bob Richards—back for their second or third quest. They have all spent years preparing and are deserving, but to earn the gold medal now each must win one crucial contest on the field at Melbourne.
LOU JONES OF THE U.S.
Holder of the world record of 45.2 seconds, he should win Olympic 400-meter dash over Russia's Ardalion Ignatiev and U.S. Teammates Jim Lea and Charley Jenkins.
TOM COURTNEY OF THE U.S.
With Belgium's record holder Roger Moens beset by leg injuries, Courtney now enters the 800 meters at slight favorite over longtime collegiate rival, Arnold Sowell.
BOBBY MORROW OF THE U.S.
A possible double winner in the 100-and 200-meter sprints, he will be hard pressed by his U.S. teammates and another old competitor, Mike Agostini of Trinidad.
JOHN LANDY OF AUSTRALIA
It is only two years since he dueled Bannister and set the mile mark at 3:58, but now if he should enter the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs, he will have to beat eight other four-minute men.
VLADIMIR KUTS OF RUSSIA
Overshadowed by Hungary's distance men last year, this fall he lowered the 10,000-meter record to 28:30.4 to emerge as the man to beat in this event and a threat in the 5,000 meters as well.
GORDON PIRIE OF GREAT BRITAIN
Record holder and first-ranked runner in the world at 5,000 meters, this dogged Briton at Melbourne will have to beat the strongest field ever assembled for any major distance race over a mile.
THE GREAT RUNNERS FROM HUNGARY
In two years Sàndor Iharos (left), Làszló Tàbori and Istvàn Rózsav√∂lgyi have broken 10 world distance records. At the Games, Rózsav√∂lgyi will run only the 1,500 meters, at which he holds the record (3:40.6). Tàbori will also run 5,000 meters. Iharos' chances have been dashed by foot injury during Hungarian crisis.
GLENN DAVIS OF THE U.S.
Russians dominated the 400-meter hurdles from 1952 until this year, when Davis, in his first full season at the event, solidly smashed the world record by winning U.S. trials in 49.5 seconds.
JACK DAVIS OF THE U.S.
Runner-up in the high hurdles at Helsinki, this June he set a new world mark of 13.4 seconds. At Melbourne, Davis and Teammate Lee Calhoun should finish in near dead heat for first place.
CHARLEY DUMAS OF THE U.S.
Though a clear favorite since his record 7-foot ½-inch high jump last June, he could be upset if off form by older, consistent rivals such as Sweden's Bengt Nilsson.
GREG BELL OF THE U.S.
In a close rivalry Bell (above) and John Bennett of U.S. should broad-jump around 26 feet—good enough to win unless Holland's erratic Henk Visser happens to hit one of his rare, great jumps.
BOB RICHARDS OF THE U.S.
A veteran of two Olympiads and the only 15-foot pole-vaulter in the 1956 Games, he should retain his 1952 title while his U.S. teammates battle improved Europeans for second and third place.
PARRY O'BRIEN OF THE U.S.
This year O'Brien has already broken his world shotput record four times. At Melbourne he is almost sure to win again and break the Olympic mark he set at Helsinki.
EGIL DANIELSEN OF NORWAY
Improving fast, this new, young javelin thrower has a good chance of beating the 1952 champion, Cy Young of the U.S., and Poland's world record holder, Janusz Sidlo.
MIKHAIL KRIVONOSOV OF RUSSIA
In the hammer throw, the only track event in which the U.S. and Russia meet at fairly equal strength, Krivonosov's consistency makes him slight favorite down under.
FORTUNE GORDIEN OF THE U.S.
He holds the world discus record—194 feet 6 inches—but will be hard put to beat Teammate Al Oerter and the 1948 Olympic champion, aging Adolfo Consolini of Italy.
GALINA ZYBINA OF RUSSIA
Olympic winner in 1952, this solid blonde has broken her own world shotput record 11 times. She will most probably win again unless upset by a teammate—as she was in Russian Olympic tryouts by a husky, 220-pound newcomer, Tamara Tyshkevich. Russian women will probably sweep the shotput event at Melbourne.
DANA ZATOPEK OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA
This veteran javelin thrower—wife of the great long-distance runner, Emil Zàtopek—will probably break own Olympic record in defense of her 1952 title against Russian competition.
MARLENE MATHEWS OF AUSTRALIA
At Melbourne the women's 100-and 200-meter sprints are up for grabs, with Mathews a chancy favorite over other good sprinters from Australia, Germany, Russia and Great Britain.
THELMA HOPKINS OF GREAT BRITAIN
One of Britain's few bright hopes for a gold medal in track and field, in women's high jump she faces tough competitors from Rumania, Czechoslovakia and U.S.