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Rowing at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Double Sculls

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Events:

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

Gold: ARG Argentina
Silver: URS Soviet Union
Bronze: URU Uruguay

Summary

Britain had replaced the United States as the world power in double sculls, but sent the relatively unheralded [John MacMillan] and [Peter Brandt] of the Cambridge University Boat Club and were not considered strong favorites. Perhaps better positioned were Denmark’s [Ebbe Parsner] and [Aage Larsen], the defending silver medalists and two-time European Champions and Double Sculls Challenge Cup winners (1949 and 1950). Also thought to be in contention were [Peter Stebler] and [Emil Knecht] of Switzerland, the reigning European Champions, and [Robert George] and [Jos Van Stichel] of Belgium, the 1952 winners of the Double Sculls Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. None of these men, however, would win a medal in Helsinki.

The Swiss, Britons, and Danes all found themselves eliminated by the conclusion of the opening’s round repêchage. The Belgians followed by the end of the semi-final round, leaving five lesser-known duos to contest the final. Of them, [Jacques Maillet] of France was probably the best known, having been one half of the 1949 European bronze medalists. He and his new partner [Achille Giovannoni], however, would not see the podium and remained far from contention throughout the race, besting only the Czechoslovakian pairing of [Antonín Malinkovič] and [Jiří Vykoukal]. It was the Argentines, [Tranquilo Capozzo] and [Eduardo Guerrero], who dominated the field, taking the gold medal over six seconds ahead of their nearest challengers, [Heorhiy Zhylin] and [Ihor Yemchuk] of the Soviet Union. Uruguay’s [Miguel Seijas] and [Juan Rodríguez] came in third. Little did Capozzo, who had been eliminated in the semi-finals of the single sculls in 1948, and Guerrero know that they would have to savour their victory for many decades to come: Argentina would not take home another Olympic gold medal in any sport until 2004. It was the nation’s second Olympic rowing medal, and first gold, after [Horacio Podestá] and [Julio Curatella’s] third-place finish in the coxless pairs in 1936.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Argentina ARG Gold
2 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Uruguay URU Bronze
4 France FRA
5 Czechoslovakia TCH
2 h1 r4/5 United States USA
2 h2 r4/5 Germany GER
2 h3 r4/5 Italy ITA
3 h1 r4/5 Australia AUS
3 h2 r4/5 Belgium BEL
2 h1 r2/5 Switzerland SUI
2 h2 r2/5 Great Britain GBR
3 h1 r2/5 Sweden SWE
3 h2 r2/5 Denmark DEN
4 h1 r2/5 Canada CAN
4 h2 r2/5 Finland FIN