Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Regatta Course, Oberschleißheim, München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: September 2, 1972
In the coxless pairs, East Germans Siegfried Brietzke and Wolfgang Mager were the spiritual successors to the defending Olympic champions Heinz-Jürgen Bothe and Jörg Lucke, the latter of whom was competing in the coxed pairs event in Munich. The East Germans were also the reigning European and World Champions, but again with a different lineup. Nonetheless, they were the favorites for the event at the 1972 Summer Olympics, although they were not unchallenged entirely. Alfons Ślusarski and Jerzy Broniec, runners-up at the 1970 World Championships and winners of the 1972 Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta, travelled to Germany, as did Roel Luynenburg and Ruud Stokvis of the Netherlands, who had put on a fantastic underdog performance at the previous Games, only to falter and finish last in the finals. More than a few spectators were hopeful that they would make the podium.
East Germany had the fastest time in the opening round, but was not completely dominant, as the Swiss duo of Fredy Bachmann and Heini Fischer, a lesser-known pair, won its heat in a time less than 0.16 seconds shy of the East Germans. The other two heats were won by crews from West Germany and the Soviet Union, both of whom were eliminated in the semi-finals. Despite the earlier success from the Swiss duo, the East Germans carried the day with ease, winning gold nearly four seconds ahead of Bachmann and Fischer, who settled for silver. Meanwhile, fans who wanted to see Luynenburg and Stokvis reach the podium were not disappointed: a stunning battle between the Dutch pair and Czechoslovakia’s Lubomír Zapletal and Petr Lakomý, the reigning European silver medalists, earned the former the final podium spot by a photo-finish margin of 0.07 seconds.
|3 h1 r2/4||Australia||AUS|
|3 h2 r2/4||Hungary||HUN|
|3 h3 r2/4||Canada||CAN|
|3 h4 r2/4||Brazil||BRA|
|4 h1 r2/4||Mexico||MEX|
|4 h3 r2/4||North Korea||PRK|
|4 h4 r2/4||Austria||AUT|