Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, Victoria
Date Started: December 1, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
Only two prior Olympic medalists in the C-2 1000 travelled to the 1956 Summer Olympics for another chance at glory, Germany’s Egon Drews, a 1956 bronze medalist, and Georges Dransart, who achieved the same result in 1948. Dransart was also the only World medalist present in Melbourne, having been runner-up in 1950, and had also won a silver medal in the C-2 10000 with his partner Marcel Renaud the previous day. The reigning World Champions, the Austrians, were represented by Otto Schindler and Walter Waldner, while defending Olympic champion Denmark sent Kaj Sylvan and Gerner Christiansen. All this meant that there were no particularly strong favorites in this event.
The opening heats were won by Alexe Dumitru and Simion Ismailciuc of Romania, who were relatively unknown, and Hungary’s Ferenc Mohácsi and Károly Wieland, the latter of whom was one of the reigning World Champions in the C-2 10000. Drews and his partner Herbert Kirschner, meanwhile, were eliminated in the Romanian heat. The final developed into a race to the finish between Dumitru and Ismailciuc and the Soviet duo of Pavel Kharin and Gratsian Botev, which the former won, leaving silver to the latter. The Hungarians, meanwhile, were far enough ahead of the rest of the field (albeit even farther behind the leaders) that they captured bronze with ease. The Danes, however, had worse luck, as Sylvan and Christiansen were disqualified for crossing into another lane. Kharin and Botev’s medal was their second of the tournament, as they had also won the C-2 10000 the day before.