Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): Toda Rowing Course, Toda, Saitama
Date Started: October 12, 1964
Date Finished: October 15, 1964
Czechoslovakia was the reigning Olympic champion in the double sculls but, although one of the titleholders, Václav Kozák, was present in Tokyo, he competed in the single sculls instead. The task of defending the nation’s crown fell on Vladimír Andrs and Pavel Hofmann, the 1963 European Champions, but other duos seemed stronger. The Soviet Union, for example, sent Oleg Tyurin and Boris Dubrovsky, who were the reigning European Champions and runners-up at the inaugural World Championships, the latter of which had been won by France’s René Duhamel and Bernard Monnereau. The United States, reigning Pan American champions, sent their single sculling champion from that event, Sy Cromwell, and Jim Storm.
The Americans dominated the field in the opening round, while Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union won their respective heats, although the latter would have placed fourth and fifth in the Czech and American heats respectively. Switzerland, Germany, and France passed through the repêchage to join these three in the finals, which were won convincingly by an invigorated Soviet effort. The United States and Czechoslovakia had a closer race, but the former had pulled ahead by the end and captured the silver medal, leaving the Czechoslovakians with bronze. Every other finalist finished at least 10 seconds behind the podium.