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Rowing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Coxless 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: USA United States
Silver: BEL Belgium
Bronze: SUI Switzerland

Summary

Switzerland’s Hans Kalt, one of the 1948 silver medalists, returned to the Olympics in 1952 with a new partner, Kurt Schmid, in an attempt to capture the crown that had eluded him in the previous edition. Kalt and Schmid were the 1950 European Champions, but they faced serious competition from Michel Knuysen and Bob Baetens of Belgium, the reigning European champions. Other contenders included Bernt Torberntsson and Evert Gunnarsson, the 1949 European Champions, and Bent Jensen and Palle Tillisch of Denmark, the 1951 European runners-up.

All of these nations survived the opening round but, by the end of the semi-final repêchage, Denmark and Sweden had been eliminated, leaving what many felt would be a race for podium spots between Switzerland, Belgium, and the strong British duo of David Callender and Chris Davidge. In the final, Switzerland led for short period, but were soon overtaken by Belgium, and then by a surprise push from the entirely unheralded United States team of Charlie Logg and Tom Price. Belgium nearly held the Americans off, but the latter pulled ahead in the final 100 meters and earned their gold medal with almost three seconds to spare ahead of the Belgians. Switzerland finished in a distant third, with Great Britain behind and France’s Jean-Pierre Souche and René Guissart completing the course nearly half a minute after the winners.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 Belgium BEL Silver
3 Switzerland SUI Bronze
4 Great Britain GBR
5 France FRA
2 h1 r4/5 Denmark DEN
2 h2 r4/5 Argentina ARG
2 h3 r4/5 Sweden SWE
3 h1 r4/5 Australia AUS
3 h2 r4/5 Netherlands NED
2 h1 r2/5 Soviet Union URS
2 h2 r2/5 Poland POL
3 h1 r2/5 Italy ITA
4 h1 r2/5 Finland FIN
AC h2 r2/5 Saar SAA DNF
DNS h2 r2/5 Germany GER