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Rowing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Coxed Eights

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Mei Bay, Helsinki
Date Started: July 20, 1952
Date Finished: July 23, 1952

Gold: USA United States
Silver: URS Soviet Union
Bronze: AUS Australia

Summary

Despite having the fewest participating nations, the coxed eights tournament was the signature rowing event of the 1952 Summer Olympics. Since it had first been contested in 1900, the United States had never lost (Great Britain won in 1908 and 1912 when the Americans did not submit a crew) and they were therefore the overwhelming favorites in Helsinki. The Australians had won the event at the 1950 British Empire Games but, without the presence of the United States, this victory was qualified at best. In the opening round, Yugoslavia had the fastest time, but it was obvious to most observers that the United States remained dominant.

In a rare occurrence during the round one repêchage, Canada and Sweden finished so closely that the photo-finish could not distinguish between them, and thus the jury allowed both crews to advance. The United States and Great Britain won the semi-finals, while Australia, the Soviet Union, and Germany rounded out the final following the repêchage. The medal round began with a legitimate challenge to the United States from the USSR, but the reigning champions reached the finish line with a comfortable margin of over five seconds. The Soviet Union settled for silver and the Australians slipped ahead of the Britons and the Germans to capture bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Great Britain GBR
5 Germany GER
2 h1 r4/5 Yugoslavia YUG
2 h2 r4/5 Hungary HUN
2 h3 r4/5 Canada CAN
3 h1 r4/5 Sweden SWE
3 h2 r4/5 Denmark DEN
2 h1 r2/5 Romania ROU
2 h2 r2/5 Italy ITA
3 h1 r2/5 Portugal POR
3 h2 r2/5 Finland FIN