Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Albano Lake, Castel Gandolfo
Date Started: August 26, 1960
Date Finished: August 29, 1960
The women’s K-2 500 was held for the first time at the Olympics at the 1960 Games, although it had been held at the World Championships in 1948, 1950, 1954, and 1958. Mariya Shubina was one half of the reigning World Championship duo from the Soviet Union and was partnered with World runner-up Antonina Seredina in Rome. Therese Zenz and Ingrid Hartmann of West Germany were the most recent World bronze medalists and competed under the banner of unified Germany at the Games. These two nations were also the only ones to win medals in the event at the inaugural two European Championships in 1957 and 1959, making both teams strong favorites in the 1960 Games. They were placed in the same heat in the opening round, with the Soviets emerging as distinctly superior, while the other heat was won by Daniela Walkowiak and Janina Mendalska of Poland. The final was more or less evenly spread out, with the Soviets, the Germans, and the Hungarian pair of Klára Bánfalvi-Fried and Vilma Egresi finishing in that order with room to breathe. The Hungarians had come in third in the Soviet and German heat in the opening round and had won gold and silver respectively in the K-2 500 event at the 1954 World Championships. For Seredina and Zenz, meanwhile, the top two results were the same as in the K-1 500, in which Seredina and Zenz again finished 1-2 in the final.