Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Henley Royal Regatta Course, Henley-on-Thames
Date Started: August 5, 1948
Date Finished: August 9, 1948
Format: 1,929 metres
The closest that the 1948 London Olympics had to a favorite in the coxed pairs event was the Hungarians, two of whom, Antal Szendey and Béla Zsitnik, Sr., were the reigning European Champions. In the opening round, the Italian trio of Aldo Tarlao, Giovanni Steffè, and Alberto Radi] had the fastest time, while [Tage Henriksen, Finn Pedersen, and Carl-Ebbe Andersen of Denmark were the speediest in the repêchage. These three nations, with cox Róbert Zimonyi aiding the Hungarians, won their semi-final heats and advanced to the final, which was initially led by Italy. The Danes eventually pulled away, however, and captured gold by a comfortable margin of almost 12 seconds. The Hungarians lagged for the entire race and finished 13 seconds behind the Italians, settling for bronze, which became the nation’s first Olympic rowing medal since Károly Levitzky’s bronze in the single sculls 40 years earlier in London. Zimonyi, who later emigrated to the United States, would go on to have a golden moment in the coxed eights at the 1964 Summer Olympics with the American crew.