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Rowing at the 1960 Roma Summer Games:

Men's Coxless Fours

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Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Albano Lake, Castel Gandolfo
Date Started: August 31, 1960
Date Finished: September 3, 1960

Gold: USA United States
Silver: ITA Italy
Bronze: URS Soviet Union

Summary

The reigning European champions in the coxless fours were the Swiss, but only two members from their winning team, Göpf Kottmann and Rolf Streuli, were present at the 1960 Summer Olympics, supplemented by Paul Kölliker and 1956 bronze medalist in the coxed pairs Kurt Schmid. The Italians had been the favorites at the past two editions of the tournament, but their failure to win a medal at either and their absence from the European podium since 1956 left the field more open than usual. The lineup for the defending champion Canadians, Robert Adams, Clayton Brown, Chris Leach, and Franklin Zielski, left no obvious indications that the nation would repeat its feat from 1956.

Indeed, the opening heats were won by Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, while the Canadians were slower than everyone except the Finns. They were subsequently eliminated in the repêchage, which saw the United States (the reigning Pan American champions), Switzerland, and Italy join the victors from round one in the final. The race amongst the podium finishers was more evenly matched and exciting, with less than 3.5 seconds separating gold from bronze. In the end it was the Americans, led by 1956 Olympic champions Dan Ayrault (coxed pairs) and Rusty Wailes (coxed eights), who captured gold, while Italy finally earned a medal, silver, in the event. The USSR, meanwhile, finished well ahead of Czechoslovakia to take bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 Italy ITA Silver
3 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Czechoslovakia TCH
5 Great Britain GBR
6 Switzerland SUI
2 h1 r2/3 Germany GER
2 h2 r2/3 Romania ROU
2 h3 r2/3 Hungary HUN
3 h1 r2/3 Canada CAN
3 h2 r2/3 Poland POL
3 h3 r2/3 Denmark DEN
4 h1 r2/3 Australia AUS
4 h2 r2/3 Argentina ARG
4 h3 r2/3 South Africa RSA
6 h1 r1/3 Finland FIN