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Rowing at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Double Sculls

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Regatta Course, Oberschleißheim, München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: September 2, 1972

Gold: URS Soviet Union
Silver: NOR Norway
Bronze: GDR East Germany

Summary

One half of the Soviet Union’s reigning Olympic champion crew in the double sculls, Aleksandr Timoshinin, journeyed to Munich to defend his title, where he was joined by Gennady Korshikov, who had won a bronze medal in the event at the 1971 European Championships. There were certainly contenders for gold, but they would not go unchallenged. The reigning European champions, Joachim Böhmer and Uli Schmied of East Germany, were present, as were the current World Champions, Niels Henry Secher and Jørgen Engelbrecht of Denmark. Böhmer and Schmied had been the runners-up at the 1970 World Championships, while Frank Hansen and Svein Thøgersen of Norway were the most recent European silver medalists. Also in the running were Britain’s Tim Crooks and Patrick Delafield, victors in the 1972 Double Sculls Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta, and Tom McKibbon and John Van Blom of the United States, who had won the 1969 European Championships and the 1970 Double Sculls Challenge Cup, and taken bronze at the 1970 World Championships. McKibbon and [John Nunn] had also been bronze medalists at the 1971 Pan American Games.

Three of the four opening heats were won by Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Czechoslovakian duo of Josef Straka, Jr. and Vladek Lacina in the only sub-seven minute times of the round. Denmark won its heat by a comfortable five second margin, but much slower than many nations from the other heats. The Americans were eliminated in the round one repêchage, but all of the other major contenders, including the Czechoslovakians, survived the semi-finals. The race for gold came down to Norway and the Soviet Union at the end, the latter of whom defended their title with less than a second to spare. Böhmer and Schmied, the only crew anywhere close to the leaders, arrived nearly three seconds later for a comfortable bronze medal finish. Norway’s silver was the nation’s first Olympic rowing medal since 1948, the first time it finished better than third, and its first top-five finish for an event with a crew size smaller than four.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Norway NOR Silver
3 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Denmark DEN
5 Great Britain GBR
6 Czechoslovakia TCH
7 Netherlands NED
8 Switzerland SUI
9 Belgium BEL
10 West Germany FRG
11 France FRA
12 Poland POL
3 h1 r2/4 United States USA
3 h2 r2/4 Argentina ARG
3 h3 r2/4 Mexico MEX
3 h4 r2/4 Japan JPN
4 h1 r2/4 Canada CAN
4 h3 r2/4 Portugal POR
4 h4 r2/4 Austria AUT