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1950 MAG Perfect 10 World Championships

1950: A Perfect 10 in the Men’s Competition at the World Championships

In 1950, Hans Eugster scored a perfect 10 on the parallel bars at the World Championships. It was the first 10 under the very first men’s Code of Points (1949)

The competition wasn’t without its judging controversies that spilled over into the pages of the French and Swiss newspapers.

Kunstturn-WM in Basel 1950: Barren-Sieger Hans Eugster (Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Results | The Swiss Perspective | The Judging Controversy | The Judging Assignments | Quotes and Additional Tidbits | Play-by-Play: Switzerland vs. Finland

Before we jump into the results…

Important Note: Individual Competitors without Teams

For the first time, countries without full men’s teams could send 1 to 3 individual gymnasts. Before that, with a few exceptions, all competitors had to be part of a full men’s team. (For more, see this post on the 1950 FIG Congress.)

At the 1950 World Championships, Austria sent 3 gymnasts; Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands 2 each; and Great Britain 1.

Saying goodbye: This was the last time that the men contested track and field events at the World Championships or Olympic Games.


Results

Here’s what was at stake

  • Team Titles
    • All-Around
    • Floor
    • Pommel Horse
    • Rings
    • Vault
    • Parallel Bars
    • High Bar
  • Individual Titles
    • All-Around
    • Floor
    • Pommel Horse
    • Rings
    • Vault
    • Parallel Bars
    • High Bar

Note: The men competed in the 100m, pole vault, and high jump, and while those scores counted for the individual and team all-around titles, gymnasts did not receive awards for the track and field events.

Team Competition

Standings after Compulsories + Athletics

After the first day of competition (compulsories and track and field events), here’s how the Swiss and the Finnish gymnasts were measuring up.

EventSwitzerlandFinland
High Bar58.0556.95
Vault58.0556.40
Rings56.5056.30
Pommel Horse57.0053.80
Floor55.9056.65
Parallel Bars57.3556.70
Pole Vault59.5060.00
High Jump57.6051.50
100M49.6049.00
Scores from: L’Express, July 15, 1950

Final Team Results

During the optionals competition, the Swiss continued their domination. (You can read a full play-by-play of the optionals portion of the competition at the bottom of the page.)

Here’s a breakdown based on scores in the Swiss newspapers. Unfortunately, track and field results weren’t reported for all teams.

EventSUIFINFRAITAYUGEGY
Total852.25838.50807.85728.90664.90623.80
Parallel Bars113.90112.85111.85104.6587.1594.75
High Bar115.15114.55108.95105.1593.6085.45
Pommel Horse114.20110.4096.80105.8077.5053.15
Floor Exercise113.15113.65111.20109.90100.90103.05
Vault115.45113.75110.9099.90101.0097.40
Still Rings113.70112.80110.55106.7086.4592.30
Pole Vault59.5060.0060.00
High Jump57.6051.5049.20
100m49.6049.0048.40
Track totals from L’Express, July 15, 1950; Apparatus totals from L’Express, July 17, 1950

Reminder: Here are the results from the 1948 Olympics: 1. Finland 2. Switzerland 3. Hungary 4. France 5. Italy 6. Czechoslovakia

Hungary, however, sent only a political delegation that tried to bar Yugoslavia from competing. More here.

An Impressive Feat: Switzerland won six of the seven gold medals in the team competition. Finland was able to edge out Switzerland for the floor exercise gold.

Note #1: Since Finland and France scored 60s in the pole vault, that means that at least six of their gymnasts scored 10s on the event. However, as I have said before, a 10 on a measured event like pole vault is not the same as a 10 on an aesthetically judged event.

According to the General Instructions, gymnasts received a 10 for:

  • High Jump: 1.6 meters
  • Pole Vault: 3 meters
  • 100 m sprint: 12 seconds
General Instructions, 1950 World Championships

Thanks to Hardy Fink for supplying the scoring rubric for the track and field events.

Note #2: If you like numbers, the July 17, 1970 edition of La Sentinelle, offered another view of the team scores.

CountryComp.Opt.AthleticsTotal
1. Switzerland342.80342.75166.70852.25
2. Finland337.00341.00160.50838.50
3. France319.70330.55157.60807.85
4. Italy308.05324.0596.80728.90
5. Yugoslavia264.95281.65118.30664.90
6. Egypt244.55281.5597.70623.80

Individual All-Around

After Compulsories and Track

Heading into the optionals portion of the competition, here were the leaders, according to Neue Zürcher Nachrichten (July 17, 1950):

GymnastCountryComp.AthleticsTotal
1. Lehmann, WalterSUI57.3528.2085.55
2. Günthard, JackSUI56.2028.4084.60
3T. Stalder, JosefSUI56.8027.3084.10
3T. Adatte, MarcelSUI55.1029.0084.10
5. Stoffel, JosefLUX55.3028.5083.80
6. Rove, OlaviFIN55.5527.9083.45

Final Results

The October 1, 1950 edition of Luxembourg’s Le Gymnaste offered the most detailed information on the all-around results for the top gymnasts.

GymnastCountryHJPV100PBHBSRPHFXVTAA
1. LehmannSUI10.0010.008.209.709.759.759.409.109.65
Opt.9.609.609.859.659.409.65143.30
2. AdatteSUI10.0010.009.009.659.409.109.608.808.55
Opt.9.009.709.609.759.309.55141.00
3. RoveFIN9.5010.008.409.859.659.657.209.609.60
Opt.9.609.609.659.209.559.75140.80
4. FigoneITA9.009.008.809.209.409.509.309.609.35
Opt.9.709.459.409.559.459.25139.95
5. StoffelLUX9.5010.009.009.209.258.958.859.609.45
Opt.9.309.359.409.059.309.30139.50
6. StalderSUI9.5010.007.808.609.759.309.809.609.75
Opt.7.759.608.959.909.659.45139.40
7. ViskariFIN9.0010.008.809.358.859.159.109.459.50
Opt.9.059.609.458.909.559.60139.35
8. LaitinenFIN7.4010.008.009.509.809.459.309.209.40
Opt.9.358.909.209.609.459.50139.05
9. DotFRA8.2010.008.209.809.659.509.259.609.00
Opt.9.559.509.358.209.609.45138.85
HJ = High Jump; PV = Pole Vault; 100 = 100 m; PB = Parallel Bars; HB = High Bar; SR = Still Rings; PH = Pommel Horse; FX = Floor Exercise; VT = Vault; AA = All-Around

First row for each gymnast = compulsory scores; second row for each gymnast = optional scores
You can click here for an enlarged version of the image.

The July 17, 1950 edition of La Sentinelle offered a slightly different view of the all-around scores for the top 10 men.

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.AthleticsTotal
1. Lehmann, WalterSUI57.3557.7528.20143.3*
2. Adatte, MarcelSUI55.1056.9029.00141.00
3. Rove, AlaviFIN55.5557.3527.90140.80
4. Figone, GuidoITA56.3556.8026.80139.95
5. Stoffel, JosefLUX55.3055.7028.50139.50
6. Stalder, JosefSUI56.8055.3027.30139.40
7. Viskari, KaleviFIN55.4056.1527.80139.35
8. Laitinen, KaleviFIN56.6557.0025.40139.05
9. Dot, RaymondFRA56.8055.6526.40138.85
10. Gebendinger, ErnstSUI55.3056.1027.40138.80
*Lehmann’s optional total is incorrect in the article from La Sentinelle. It is correct in this table.

Reminder: Here were the top finishers at the 1948 Olympics: 1. Huhtanen (FIN) 2. Lehmann (SUI) 3. Aaltonen (FIN) 4. Stalder (SUI) 5. Kipfer (SUI) 6. Studer (SUI)

Note: Josef Stoffel of Luxembourg had the highest finish (5th) for an individual competitor without a full team. Willy Welt of Austria and Klaas Boot of the Netherlands were next, finishing 24th and 25th respectively.

Individual Events

Reminder: There weren’t separate event finals at the time.

High Bar

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1. Aaltonen, PaavoFIN9.759.7019.45
2. Huthanen, VaikkoFIN9.809.6019.40
3T. Lehmann, WalterSUI9.759.6019.35
3T. Stalder, JosefSUI9.759.6019.35
5. Rove, OlaviFIN9.659.6019.25
6. Dot, RaymondFRA9.659.5019.15
Reminder: Here were the results from 1948: 1. Stalder (SUI) 2. Lehmann (SUI) 3. Huhtanen (FIN) 4T. Saarvala (FIN) 4T. Studer (SUI) 4T. Sántha (HUN) 4T. Dot (FRA)

Parallel Bars

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1. Eugster, HansSUI10.009.8519.85
2. Rove, OlaviFIN9.859.6019.45
3. Dot, RaymondFRA9.809.5519.35
4. Lehmann, WalterSUI9.709.6019.30
5. Savolainen, HeikkiFIN9.609.6519.25
6T. Anger, AlphonseFRA9.559.3518.90
6T. Figone, GuidoITA9.209.7018.90
Reminder: Here are the results from 1948: 1. Reusch (SUI) 2. Huhtanen (FIN) 3T. Stalder (SUI) 3T. Kipfer (SUI) 5. Lehmann

Pommel Horse

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1. Stalder, JosefSUI9.809.9019.70
2. Adatte, MarcelSUI9.609.7519.35
3. Lehamnn, WalterSUI9.409.6519.05
4T. Huthanen, VeikkoFIN9.509.4018.90
4T. Thalmann, MelchiorSUI9.409.5018.90
6. Figone, GuidoITA9.309.5518.85
7. Zanetti, LuigiITA9.509.1018.60
In the extant results, the numbering is different.

Reminder: Here are the results from 1948: 1T. Huhtanen (FIN) 1T. Aaltonen (FIN) 1T. Savolainen (FIN) 4. Zanetti (ITA) 5. Figone (ITA)

Rings

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1. Lehamnn, WalterSUI9.759.8519.60
2. Rove, OlaviFIN9.659.6519.30
3. Eugster, HansSUI9.559.6519.20
4. Zaki, AliEGY9.459.7019.15
5. Figone, GuidoITA9.509.4018.90
6T. Dot, RaymondFRA9.509.3518.85
6T. Savolainen, HeikkiFIN9.359.5018.85
Reminder: Here are the results from the 1948 Olympics: 1. Frei (SUI) 2. Reusch (SUI) 3. Růžička (TCH) 4. Lehmann (SUI) 5T. Stalder (SUI) 5T. Studer (SUI)

Vault

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1. Gebendinger, ErnstSUI9.759.7019.45
2. Rove, OlaviFIN9.609.7519.35
3. Lehmann, WalterSUI9.659.6519.30
4T. Stalder, JosefSUI9.759.4519.20
4T. Thalmann, MelchiorSUI9.609.6019.20
4T. Tschabold, JeanSUI9.709.5019.20
7. Viskari, KaleviFIN9.509.6019.10
8. Aaltonen, PaavoFIN9.459.5519.00
In the extant results, the numbering is different.

Reminder: Here are the results from 1948: 1. Aaltonen (FIN) 2. Rove (FIN) 3T. Pataki (HUN) 3T. Mogyorósi-Klencs (HUN) 3T. Sotorník (TCH)

Floor

GymnastCountryComp.Opt.Total
1T. Stalder, JosefSUI9.609.6519.25
1T. Gebendinger, ErnstSUI9.509.7519.25
3. Dot, RaymondFRA9.609.6019.20
4T. Lempinen, KainoFIN9.609.5519.15
4T. Rove, OlaviFIN9.609.5519.15
4T. Wister, ErnstAUT9.609.5519.15
7. Figone, GuidoITA9.609.4519.05
8. Viskari, KaleviFIN9.459.5519.00
In the extant results, it doesn’t list Gebendinger and Stalder as tied.

Reminder: Here are the results from 1948: 1. Pataki (HUN) 2. Mogyorósi-Klencs (HUN) 3. Růžička (TCH) 4. Dot (FRA) 5. Gronne (DEN)

Note: No Olympic champion from 1948 defended his title at the 1950 World Championships.


The Swiss Perspective

After losing to the Finnish team at the 1948 World Championships, the Swiss won 12 of the 14 gold medals at the 1950 World Championships, and they were thrilled. Here’s a translation of an article from the Gazette de Lausanne, July 17, 1950.

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

Unprecedented victory for our representatives

Out of 14 titles, Switzerland takes 12

For three days, the best gymnasts gathered in Basel. And these games were a complete success, sporting success first and foremost, since the 15,000 spectators who were present on Sunday attended an unforgettable spectacle.

Beautiful Comradery

On the other hand, and this is a gratifying fact, since the circumstances required that representatives of politically opposed nations clash; perfect comradeship has never ceased to reign in the stadiums of the Schützenmatte. And this is also one of the beautiful lessons of these championships — that sport can unite people

[Note: Remember that the Hungarians tried to prevent the Yugoslav team from competing.]

National Satisfaction

Finally, for us Swiss, these days end with a victory that has never been known in our sporting annals, to our knowledge. Switzerland in fact won 12 world titles out of the 14 that were in competition.

Our men’s team, remarkably mentally prepared and trained by our coaches, has shown such homogeneity and perfection so evident in all events that it is permissible to speak of a true triumph.

We have now acquired an almost absolute superiority in the field of artistic gymnastics which will be difficult to counteract in the future; we have young people and talents that will continue to assert themselves.

Flawless Organization

Let us note finally in this brief introduction that everything in Basel was superbly organized and that the competitions took place if not always according to the schedule, at least with perfect regularity, both on the administrative side and with regard to the jury whose decisions were almost always fair.

Men’s Competition

It is advisable to return first of all to the surprising results of Friday to point out that our men, contrary to all expectations, imposed themselves in the track and field events, whereas it was safe to assume that the Finns would have a clear advantage. This was not the case, since the best athlete was Marcel Adatte with 29 points out of a maximum of 30.

With the compulsory exercises, the Swiss took such a clear lead making it impossible to beat them.

Sunday Afternoon Optional Exercises

Swiss superiority was asserted on Sunday, during the optional routines which constituted the best part of the championship since each gymnast had to present what he does best on each apparatus. The teams that had given better scores in the compulsory exercises and in the track and field events presented themselves: Italy, France, Finland and Switzerland. The day before, Yugoslavia and Egypt had fought for fifth place, the first team easily outweighing the people of the banks of the Nile River by 664.90 points against 623.80. Likewise, the individuals had finished their program except the Luxembourger Stoffel who, ranked 5th before the optional exercises, still had a good chance of winning first place. Stoffel showing consistency everywhere was also one of the great revelations of the championships.

The Work of the Swiss Teams

Our selected team won five team titles and five individual titles in the apparatus classification. On parallel bars, Eugster, the best placed on the compulsory since he had achieved the maximum score of 10 points (the only 10 of the whole competition), confirmed his superiority with a varied, difficult, and impeccably executed exercise.

He was certainly our first world champion, and it was a joy for all the friends of the young Lucerne who, at 21 years old, is the youngest of the team. If he progresses on the pommel horse (he obtained an 8,10 there), we will have in him a worthy successor of Reusch. He absolutely has the physique. His other results speak for themselves: high bar 9.40; rings 9.65 (he made the most beautiful iron cross of the festival); floor exercise 9.50, and vault 9.40.

Stalder: 2x World Champion

Stalder could have won if he hadn’t been chased by bad luck on the parallel bars. Hampered by a back injury for several weeks, he had serious failures on this apparatus. And, Sunday afternoon, he fell from the parallel bars, which made him lose many tenths. Likewise, his presentation on the rings was very far from what we had seen in Bern during the final. The Luçernois redeemed himself brilliantly on the pommel horse where his almost perfect execution won him the world title and, on floor exercise, he performed without a hitch.

Gebendinger, the Discovery of Basel

Gebendinger is no longer a very young gymnast, but he has never made much of himself so far. Very strong in track and field, we anticipated that this was where he would be most useful to the team. However, this gymnast also won two titles: the floor exercise, tied with Stalder, and the vault where he was ranked without any possible dispute.

Walter Lehmann, the Individual All-Around Champion

Walter Lehmann found Sunday, under the enthusiastic applause of the crowd, the finest reward promised to a gymnast who, by his dedication, his seriousness, his good morale, has repeatedly been useful to our team. Here he is sacred — he, the eternal second or third-place finisher, is now world champion in all disciplines, with a magnificent total of 143.30, out of a maximum of 150. He never fell below 9.40.

Lehmann won again the title on the rings where his optional routine, with impeccably kept “stands” and an impressive lift to an iron cross earned him the highest mark awarded, 9.85.

From Other Swiss and from Tschabold

Our other representatives all fulfilled the trust our leaders had placed in them. The most unlucky was the nicest, Günthard, from Zurich. Very well placed in the standings, he fell on high bar, made a terrible “landing” and resumed his exercise with a smile. He is our finest gymnast in terms of character and without this incident, he would have done as well as Adatte, who finished a brilliant second in these championships. The latter showed gymnastics, pure, perfectly assimilated and his sureness earned him a beautiful silver medal. Thalmann surprised us.

Tschabold would have finished much better without the track and field events where he lost many points. The gymnast from Lausanne, on apparatus and floor exercise, had one of the fine totals of the day, obtaining 56.55 and thus placing third Swiss after Lehmann (57.75) and Adatte (56.90). His detailed optional results are as follows: Parallel bars 9.70; high ba r9.45; rings 9.25; pommel horse 9.15; floor exercise 9.50 and vault 9.50. Congratulations to our popular French-speaking champion.

Two Words about the Foreigners

If the Finns were finally beaten by the Swiss on the horizontal bar, while they were leading after the compulsory exercises, the fact remains that it is one of theirs who won the world title on this apparatus. Aaltonen performed an acrobatic trick there, in a very pure style. Let us also point out the extraordinary double somersault dismount of his compatriot Huhtanen to whom a “flex” cost the title.

Among the other foreigners, we should mention the performances of the Italian Figone, whose marks did not drop below 9.25 and who obtained 9.70 on parallel bars; the beautiful demonstrations of the other Finns Rove, Viskari, and the French Dot. Finally, in the floor exercise, the Finnish team shone by homogeneity, which earned them the team title.

Gazette de Lausanne, July 17, 1950

Note: This was not the first 10.0 for a Swiss gymnast at the World Championships. At the 1938 Worlds in Prague, Mack received a 10.0 for his optional vault.

Neue Zürcher Nachrichten, July 2, 1938

Prior to that, at the 1934 Worlds in Budapest, Mack received a 10.0 on both his compulsory and optional vaults — for a perfect 20.0.

Vaulting was a sure thing for the Swiss. Although the review of the work of their fiercest rivals is still missing, Mack should be sure of the individual world championship. He got the maximum mark of 10 in both the optional and compulsory vault.

Das Pferdspringen war eine sichere Sache der Schweizer. Noch fehlt zwar der Ueberblick über die Arbeit ihrer schärfsten Rivalen, aber die Einzel-Weltmeisterschaft dürfte Mack sicher sein. Er holte sich sowohl im sreigcwählten wie im obligatorischen Sprung die Maximalnote 10.

Der Bund, June 3, 1934

And prior to that, at the 1928 Olympics, Mack received a 10 from all three judges on his compulsory vault — for a perfect 30. (His final score was a 28.75 because, at the 1928 Olympics, the gymnast’s final vault score was the average of the compulsory and optional vaults.)

But our gymnasts surpassed themselves and showed one magnificent vault after the other. Mack even managed to soften the judges enough to give him the maximum mark in the obligatory exercise. That was only once the case in the whole gymnastic decathlon.

Unsere Turner wuchsen aber über sich selbst hinaus und zeigten einen Prachtssprung nach dem andern. Mack gelang es sogar, das Kampfgericht soweit zu erweichen, daß es ihm die Maximalnote in der obligatorischen Uebung gab. Das war im ganzen turnerischen Zehnkampf nur einmal der Fall.

Der Bund, August 11, 1928

Judging Controversy

While the Swiss reporter (above) claimed that the scores “were almost always fair,” the French had a different opinion. Dot finished third on floor exercise, and the French were not pleased. In response, the Swiss argued that the results couldn’t be tainted in favor of the Swiss because there was only one Swiss judge on the jury.

Here’s a translation of what transpired in the pages of the Swiss and French newspapers.

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

A Curious Article from “L’Equipe”

Why the French Dot Was behind

We read in L’Equipe, under the signature of Pierre Courtois, the following astonishing opening of the article:

“When Walter Lehmann finished his optional exercise on the rings on Sunday, more than 15,000 mouths roared their enthusiasm. The Swiss enthusiasm for gymnastics is unimaginable. And also, it must be said, their chauvinism. They only had eyes for their champions who were indeed very strong. This is how a Finn or a Frenchman could very well, before their eyes, perform an exercise on parallel bars, if a Swiss worked at the same time at the other end of the stadium on a pommel horse, it was he whom we were watching.

This was not without influencing the judges, even in spite of themselves, and it was the essential cause of the defeat of Raymond Dot on the floor exercise. He received, for his very difficult and impeccably executed exercise, a 9.60 because the public’s attention was focused elsewhere. On the other hand, Stalder had a 9.75 for his floor exercise, good but nothing more, was greeted with an endless ovation.*

“Marius Régnier was disgusted: “Dot could beat Stalder and all the Swiss on the floor exercise whenever he wants, at any time of the day or night. The judges did not rate Raymond as he deserved and were influenced by the public.

“Yesterday evening, Raymond Dot, when leaving for Genoa, was content to say: “To triumph over a Swiss at home is harder to achieve than any routine.”

WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDED …

Our special correspondent in Basel, to whom we have submitted this article, sends us the following lines:

… And that’s how we write history!

One wonders if, at the next World Championships which will take place in Rome in 1954, it would not be better to leave the Italians to compete alone! Because it is obvious that a jury, made up of delegates from different countries, does not deal with the routines presented to it! To believe Mr. Courtois, he does like the public: he looks at what interests him (in Basel, the Swiss only, whatever apparatus they may be on!).

But for the edification of our readers, we will specify that, for the floor exercise, the jury was composed as follows: Wagner (Switzerland), Klazema (Netherlands), Bitsch (France), Fedra (Austria), and that the referee was the Finnish Kompa; that the lowest score and the highest score were automatically discarded and that only the average of the other two was taken into account. That if the difference between the numbers was too big, the referee could intervene! We may wonder how it is that, despite all these precautions, we were able to wrong Raymond Dot!

No, Gentlemen! We have seen the floor exercises. Dot’s exercise was beautiful, acrobatic, but it couldn’t technically be compared to those of Stalder or Gebendinger, or those of a few Finns. And the judges fittingly evaluated things, without thinking that the frightful chauvinism of some could backfire.

In terms of chauvinism, Mr. Courlois beats by several lengths the Brazilians in mourning or the Uruguayans in jubilation! Let us note in passing that, in a more general way, the reproach addressed to the Swiss public of only being interested in its representatives is much more applicable to the French sports press.

The ovation which greeted the exercise of the high bar of Aaltonen or Huhtanen in Basel, to name only these two examples, does not compare to those which greeted our gymnasts.

Marc Mayor

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

*Note #1: According to the results, Stalder had a 9.65 on floor while Gebendinger had a 9.75 for the optionals portion.

Note #2: For what it’s worth, Luxembourg’s gymnastics publication would have liked to see Dot win.

It would take us too far to judge the performances of all the other gymnasts, who all gave their best: like the 21-year-old Swiss Eugster, who achieved the only maximum of the whole competition in the compulsory exercise on parallel bars; by Frenchman Dot, whom we would have loved to give the floor exercise world title (it only needed 1/10 point); by Gebendinger, who, after a fatal fall, flew off the bar at full swing so that his bones cracked, then quickly swung himself up again to end up with a high-flying and perfectly formed Hecht; from the whole Finnish team, who stood steadfast until the last exercise; by the Austrian Wister, who forfeited the world floor exercise title with nervous blunders; by the little Egyptian Zaki, who is in the world champion class on the rings and on the floor exercise, but on the horse is almost “under the table” etc.

Es würde uns zu weit führen, von den Leistungen aller andern Turner zu gerichten, die alle ihr Bestes hergaben: wie von dem 21jährigen Schweizer Eugster, der in der Pflichtübung am Barren das einzige Maximum des ganzen Wettkampfes erzielte; von dem Franzosen Dot, dem wir so gerne den Weltmeistertitle im Bodenturnen gegeben hätten (es bedurfte nur 1/10 Punkt); von Gebendinger, der nach einem fatalen Sturz aus vollem Schwung vom Reck flog, dass die Knochen krachten, dann flugs sich wieder hinaufschwang, um mit einem hochaufstrebenden und formvollendeten Hecht zu enden; von der ganzen finnischen Mannschaft, die unerschüterlich stand bis zur letzten Uebung; von dem Oesterreicher Wister, der den Weltmeistertitel in der Freiübung durch nervöse Schnitzer verscherzte; von dem kleinen Aegypter Zaki, der an den Ringen und am Bodenturnen in der Weltmeisterklasse steht, am Pferde aber geradezu «unter den Tisch» fällt usw.

Luxembourg’s Le Gymnaste, August 1/15, 1950

Side Note: Zaki scored a 4.35 on compulsory pommel horse. Hence the comments in the paragraph above. And the German phrase “under the table” (unter den Tisch fallen) usually means “to fall by the wayside” or “to be abandoned” or “to fail.” But it has a double meaning here since the writer calls Zaki small.

Gazette de Lausanne, July 20, 1950

Judging Assignments

According to the minutes of the 1950 FIG Congress, here were the assignments.

President of the Jury: Mr. Ernest Maurer (SUI)

Technical Director: Mr. Pierre Hentgès (LUX)

Jury of Appeal: The Count Goblet d’Alviella (BEL), Mr. Boddaert (BEL), Gallo (ITA), Hentgès (LUX), Maurer (SUI)

Compulsory Routines

High Bar

  • Castigliolo (ITA)
  • Aubry (FRA)
  • Teräsvirta (FIN)
  • Gregorka (YUG)
  • Superior Judge: Vereecken (BEL)

Parallel Bars

  • Hussein (EGY)
  • Régnier (FRA)
  • Fedra (AUT)
  • Reusch (SUI)
  • Superior Judge: Kompa (FIN)

Rings

  • Rasmussen (DEN)
  • Tognini (ITA)
  • Fesl (AUT)
  • Schlosser (NED)
  • Superior Judge: Bach (SUI)

Pommel Horse

  • Hänggi (SUI)
  • Pustisěk (YUG)
  • Kugeler (LUX)
  • Moens (BEL)
  • Superior Judge: Fraschini (ITA)

Vault

  • Ahtio (FIN)
  • Meyer (NED)
  • Bitsch (FRA)
  • Wagner (SUI)
  • Superior Judge: Baki (YUG)

Floor

  • Bonoli (ITA)
  • Ban (YUG)
  • Sirmeiko (FIN)
  • Bück (LUX)
  • Superior Judge: Schwartz (FRA)

Optional Exercises

High Bar

  • Moens (BEL)
  • Hussein (EGY)
  • Castigliolo (ITA)
  • Teräsvirta (FIN)
  • Superior Judge: Pustisěk (YUG)

Parallel Bars

  • Kugeler (LUX)
  • Bonoli (ITA)
  • Ban (YUG)
  • Sirmeiko (FIN)
  • Superior Judge: Schwartz (FRA)

Rings

  • Tognini (ITA)
  • Aubry (FRA)
  • Gregorka (YUG)
  • Bach (SUI)
  • Superior Judge: Vereecken (BEL)

Pommel Horse

  • Schlosser (NED)
  • Rasmussen (DEN)
  • Fesl (AUT)
  • Régnier (FRA)
  • Superior Judge: Reusch (SUI)

Vault

  • Baki (YUG)
  • Bück (LUX)
  • Hänggi (SUI)
  • Ahtio (FIN)
  • Superior Judge: Bertoni (ITA)

Floor Exercise

  • Wagner (SUI)
  • Meyer (NED)
  • Bitsch (FRA)
  • Fedra (AUT)
  • Superior Judge: Kompa (FIN)

Vault Hand Placement: 

  • Friday: Larsen (DEN), Kern (SUI)
  • Saturday: Prossnig (AUT), Numminen (FIN)
  • Sunday: Velle (BEL), Zitnik (YUG)

High Jump: Zitnik (YUG), Numminen (FIN)

Pole Vault: Velle (BEL), Walter (SUI)

100 m Sprint: Prossnig (AUT)


Additional Tidbits

Countries could no longer bring their own apparatus

Another decision which comes into force at these championships is the ban on bringing their own apparatus, a procedure that was introduced by the Czech Sokols in 1911. From now on, the nations will have to be satisfied with the facilities provided by the organizer.

Autre décision qui entre en vigueur à ces championnats: l’interdiction d’amener ses propres agrès, manière de procéder qui avait été introduite par les Sokols tchèques en 1911. Dorénavant, les nations devront se contenter des installations fournies par l’organisateur.

Les étapes de la gymnastique au sol et aux agrès en France et dans le monde

Quotes

Hentgès, President of the Luxembourgian Gymnastics Federation

At the time, Hentgès was the President of the Luxembourg Gymnastics Federation, as well as the Secretary of the Men’s Technical Committee. In 1954, he became the President of the Men’s Technical Committee.

He was in favor of track and field and wanted to strike pommel horse from the program.

In his opinion, the World Championships are too busy, and he regrets, for the future, the absolute absence of athletics. Recalling an opinion of the late [Claude] Lapalu, he would like to reduce the number of compulsory exercises (by alternating the choice of apparatus) and the elimination of the pommel horse.

A son avis, les Championnats du Monde sont trop chargés, et il regrette, pour l’avenir, l’absence absolue d’athlétisme. Rappelant une opinion du regretté LAPALU, il souhaiterait la réduction du nombre des exercices imposés (par alternance du choix des appareils) et la suppression du cheval arçons. 

Revue de l’Éducation Physique et du Sport, Oct/Nov. 1950

Note: Sweden had proposed striking pommel horse from the men’s program at the 1950 FIG Congress.

Floor exercise music for men?

Those performed by the ladies are too acrobatic, and elegant sequences are lacking. It would be desirable that they were performed with musical accompaniment. The Slavs strongly insist that this also be the case with men.

Ceux exécutés par les dames sont trop acrobatiques, et les enchaînements élégants font défaut. Il serait souhaitable qu’ils fussent exécutés avec accompagnement musical. Les Slaves insistent vivement pour qu’il en soit également ainsi pour les hommes.

Revue de l’Éducation Physique et du Sport, Oct/Nov. 1950

Note: The Hungarian delegation proposed using floor music at the 1950 FIG Congress.

Professor Jean-Baptiste Aubry, international judge

We should use the superior judges’ scores.

Although the method currently practiced (elimination of the two extreme scores, to keep the average of the two middle scores) is good in that it limits the large differences in points, why not use the scores of the five jurors since the referee must also score the exercise?

By removing the two extreme scores, one would make the average of the three intermediate scores which, with the tolerance of a maximum deviation of one point, would decrease the chances of errors.

We do not understand why the referee’s scores remain useless.

Bien que la méthode actuellement pratiquée (élimination des deux notes extrêmes, pour conserver la moyenne des deux notes intermédiaires) soit bonne en ce qu’elle limite les grands écarts de points, pourquoi ne pas utiliser les notes des cinq jurés puisque le juge arbitre doit également noter l’exercice ? 

En enlevant les deux notes extrêmes, on ferait la moyenne des trois notes intermédiaires ce qui. avec la tolérance d’un écart maximum de un point, diminuerait les chances d’erreurs. 

Nous ne comprenons pas que la note du juge arbitre demeure inutile.

Revue de l’Éducation Physique et du Sport, Oct/Nov. 1950

Reminder: There were four judges and a superior judge at the time.


Appendix: Play-by-Play

The Oberländer Tagblatt gave a play-by-play of the men’s optionals competition on July 17, 1950. Here’s my translation, as well as the German original.

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

The competition in men’s gymnastics turned into a major gathering on Sunday afternoon. For the final victory, of course, only Switzerland and Finland came into question, while the other two nations, France and Italy literally had to fight in the shadow of the big favorites and received less attention. In the first round, Switzerland recorded some excellent results on parallel bars, until, of all people, Stalder got a bad grip on his back toss and fell after the Stützkehre. Immediately afterward, Adatte had to come to an early conclusion during his exercise, on the other hand, the only-21-year-old Eugster came up with a happy surprise, as he managed to achieve such a high result here, too; with his maximum mark [10.0] in the compulsory parallel bar exercise, one individual apparatus championship for Switzerland had been won.

Finland did not compete with the usual success on pommel horse, only Altonen achieved a high result here. Switzerland entered vault in second place. Here the team achieved a very high result, and the marks 9.3 from Günthard and 9.4 from Eugster were already out of the ranking as the worst results. Compared to the optional exercises of the Finns, who are known to be very strong in this discipline, there was only a small plus.

[Note: It’s possible that the writer made an error. Huthanen — not Altonen — was the highest-scoring Finnish gymnast on pommel horse. At the 1948 Olympics, Finland had a three-way tie for gold on pommel horse.]

​​On the horizontal bar, Stalder recovered well after the mishap on the parallel bars. He did his optional exercise with the usual certainty, as did Lehmann, while Adatte achieved an even better result. Unfortunately, Günthard fell here on one of his difficult parts, but, all things considered, this was irrelevant, since the worst score was dropped anyway.

[Note: Gebendinger also had a bad fall on high bar.]

Finland saw in the rings a chance to make up a bit from the deficit, but only 2 or 3 gymnasts managed a perfect performance so that compared to the horizontal bar exercise of the Swiss, a small loss of points occurred for the Finns. But then there was another pleasant surprise for Switzerland. On the pommel horse, Eugster and Günthard had to be satisfied with a mediocre result for the time being. But then Lehmann and Adatte increased it enormously, even more Stalder, who put in an impeccable exercise. which also brought him the world championship. At the same time, the Finns were less happy on parallel bars, as they only achieved two results above average.

It was clear that Switzerland would not have to reckon with a loss of points against Finland in the floor exercise. And the performance of the 8 gymnasts went so well that Gebendinger and Stalder took their place at the top of the overall ranking with their results and also won the world championships in this discipline for Switzerland with the same number of points [i.e. Gebendinger and Stalder tied for first].

At the end of the big gymnastics meet, which was followed by around 15,000 spectators, Switzerland went to the rings, Finland to the horizontal bar. With this last piece of equipment, Switzerland no longer left anything to chance but rather performed the whole workload with the greatest reliability, especially Lehmann, who turned out to be an extraordinarily reliable and powerful competitor throughout the championship. With his dismount from the rings, this world championship was also secured for Switzerland after his excellent routine.

At first, the Finns fought excellently on the horizontal bar, until suddenly 3 routines in a row failed slightly, probably due to the weight of the tremendous event and the hit they took with the unexpectedly large difference in points. For Switzerland, however, these 12th World Championships are a huge success. The team not only achieved victory in the overall class of nations, but also the first places in the individual all-around thanks to W. Lehmann followed by Adatte, as well as the team championship on parallel bars, pommel horse, vault, horizontal bar, and rings; and the individual championship by Eugster on parallel bars, Stalder on the horse, Gebendinger on vault, Lehmann on the rings and through Gebendinger and Stalder tied on points on floor exercise.

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

Der Kampf im Männerturnen gestaltete sich am Sonntagnachmittag zu einer größern Kundgebung. Für den Schlußsieg kam natürlich nur noch die Schweiz und Finnland in Frage, während die beiden andern Nationen, Frankreich und Italien buchstäblich im Schatten der großen Favoriten kämpfen mußten und weniger beachtet wurden. Im ersten Durchgang verzeichnete die Schweiz im Barrenturnen teilweise hervorragende Resultate, bis dann ausgerechnet Stalder nach-der obern Flugrolle schlecht in die Griffe kam und nach der Stützkehre stürzte. Gleich darauf mußte auch Adatte in seiner Uebung zum vorzeitigen Abschluß kommen, dagegen wartete der erst 21 jährige Eugster mit einer freudigen Ueberraschung auf, gelang es ihm doch zusammen mit seiner Maximalnote in der obligatorischen Barrenübung auch hier ein so hohes Resultat zu erzielen, daß die erste Gerätemeisterschaft für die Schweiz errungen worden war. 

Finnland kämpfte nicht mit gewohntem Erfolg am Pferd, lediglich Altonen kam hier auf ein hohes Resultat. Im 2. Rang trat die Schweiz zum Pferdsprung au. Hier erzielte die Mannschaft ein sehr hohes Ergebnis, und die Noten 9,3 von Günthard und 9,4 von Eugster fielen als schlechteste Ergebnisse bereits aus der Wertung. So resultierte gegenüber der Freiübung der Finnen, die in dieser Disziplin bekanntlich sehr stark sind, nur ein kleines Plus. 

Am Reck hat sich Stalder nach dem Mißgeschick am Barren erfreulich gut erholt. Er turnte seine Kürübung mit gewohnter Sicherheit, desgleichen auch Lehmann, während Adatte noch ein besseres Resultat erzielte. Leider stürzte hier Günthard in einem seiner schwierigen Uebungsteile, doch blieb dies gesamthaft betrachtet ohne Belang, da die schlechteste Note ohnehin ausfiel. 

Finnland sah in den Ringen vorerst eine Chance vom Rückstand etwas auszuholen, doch gelang nur 2 oder 3 Turnern eine einwandfreie Vorführung, so daß im Vergleich zur Reckübung der Schweizer für die Finnen ein kleiner Punkteverlust sich einstellte. Dann aber ergab sich erneut eine freudige Ueberraschung für die Schweiz. Am Pferd mußte zwar vorerst Eugster und Günthard sich mit einem mittelmäßigen Resultat zufriedengeben. Dann aber steigerten Lehmann und Adatte ganz gewaltig, noch mehr Stalder, der eine tadellose Uebung hinlegte. die ihm zugleich die Weltmeisterschaft einbrachte. Weniger glücklich waren gleichzeitig die Finnen am Barren, da ihnen nur 2 Resultate über Durchschnitt gelangen.

Daß in der Freiübung die Schweiz gegenüber Finnland nicht mit einem Punktverlust zu rechnen habe, war klar. Und die Vorführung der 8 Turner gelang denn auch so gut, das Gebendinger und Stalder sich mit ihren Ergebnissen an die Spitze des Gesamtklassements setzten und punktgleich für die Schweiz auch die Weltmeisterschaft in dieser Disziplin holten. 

Zum Abschluß des von rund 15,000 Zuschauern verfolgten großen Turnertreffens trat die Schweiz zu den Ringen, Finnland zur Reckübung an. Die Schweiz lieg sich an diesem letzten Gerät nicht mehr auf irgendwelche Zufälligkeiten ein, sondern turnte das ganze Pensum mit größter Zuverlässigkeit durch, besonders Lehmann, der während der ganzen Meisterschaft sich als außerordentlich zuverlässiger und kraftvoller Wettkämpfer entpuppte. Mit dem Abgang von den Ringen war nach seiner hervorragenden Hebung auch diese Weltmeisterschaft für die Schweiz sichergestellt.

Die Finnen kämpften vorerst am Reck ganz hervorragend, bis plötzlich 3 Hebungen nacheinander leicht mißlangen, wohl unter dem Eindruck des gewaltigen Geschehens und des für sie mit der unerwartet großen Punktedifferenz verlorenen Treffens. Für die Schweiz aber bedeuten diese 12. Weltmeisterschaften einen Riesenerfolg. Die Mannschaft errang nicht nur den Sieg im Gesamtklassement der Nationen, sondern durch W. Lehmann gefolgt von Adatte auch die ersten Ränge im Einzelklassement, zudem die Mannschaftsmeisterschaft an Barren, Pferdpauschen, Pferdsprung, Reck und an den Ringen und die Einzelmeisterschaft durch Eugster am Barren, Stalder am Pferd, Gebendinger im Pferdsprung, Lehmann an den Ringen und durch Gebendinger und Stalder punktgleich in der Freiübung. 

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