Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): Lake Sagami, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Date Started: October 20, 1964
Date Finished: October 22, 1964
One of the defending Olympic champions from the Soviet Union, Antonina Seredina, returned to the Games in 1964 to defend her crown and brought with her a new partner, Nina Gruzintseva, who had helped her win the World Championships in 1958. With various crews, the Soviet Union had also taken the first two podium spots at the 1961 European Championships, and the last two at the 1963 European and World Championships. Germany’s Roswitha Esser and Annemarie Zimmermann, meanwhile, were the reigning European and World Champions. In the opening round, the Soviet Union and Germany were placed in the same heat, with the latter emerging victorious and separated from the former in the rankings by the Romanian duo of Hilde Lauer and Cornelia Sideri. Birthe Lindskov Hansen and Anni Werner-Hansen of Denmark took the other heat. The Germans were dominant in the final, winning gold with ease, but it was the American crew of Francine Fox and Gloria Perrier who surprised the spectators by nabbing the silver medal. The battle for the final podium spot came down to a three-way drive between the Soviet Union, Denmark, and Romania, with the latter coming out on top by a mere 0.44 seconds ahead of the Soviets. Lauer also earned bronze in the K-1 500 at the same Olympics.