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Rowing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Coxed Pairs

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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: FRA France
Silver: GER Germany
Bronze: DEN Denmark

Summary

The Italian trio of Giuseppe Ramani, Aldo Tarlao (a 1948 Olympic silver medalist), and Luciano Marion had won the last three European Championships in the coxed pairs and, in the absence of many other metrics, were considered the favorites to win the event at the 1952 Games. Their greatest challengers were the Swiss, whose trio of Walter Lüchinger, Alex Siebenhaar, and Walter Ludin, were runners-up in the last two European Championships. Other more distant threats were Belgium’s Hippolyte Mattelé and Eugeen Jacobs, part of the 1949 and 1950 European bronze medal-winning crews, who brought Kamiel Van Dooren with them to Helsinki, and Denmark’s Svend Pedersen, Poul Svendsen, and Jørgen Frantzen, who represented a recent strong national tradition in this event.

Switzerland’s failure to advance beyond the opening round was a surprise, almost as much as the strength of France, Germany, and the United States who, along with Italy, were the winners of the four heats. The Americans and the Belgians were eliminated in the semi-finals, with France’s trio of Raymond Salles, Gaston Mercier, and Bernard Malivoire posting the fastest time. They repeated this feat in the final, earning a gold medal and Malivoire the distinction, at age 14, of being the youngest gold medalist at the Games. Germany’s trio of Heinz Manchen, Helmut Heinhold, and Helmut Noll earned a surprise silver, while Denmark settled for bronze and Italy missed the podium entirely.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 France FRA Gold
2 Germany GER Silver
3 Denmark DEN Bronze
4 Italy ITA
5 Finland FIN
2 h1 r4/5 United States USA
2 h2 r4/5 Belgium BEL
2 h3 r4/5 Poland POL
3 h1 r4/5 Soviet Union URS
3 h2 r4/5 Hungary HUN
2 h1 r2/5 Switzerland SUI
2 h2 r2/5 Sweden SWE
3 h1 r2/5 Greece GRE
3 h2 r2/5 Brazil BRA
4 h1 r2/5 Egypt EGY