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Rowing at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's Coxless Fours

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Basin, Notre Dame Island, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 25, 1976

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

Summary

East Germany had won the coxless fours event at the last two Olympics and were heavily favored to repeat, having also taken gold at the last four World Championships (a unified German squad had taken it at the inaugural edition prior to that) and three of the final four editions of the European Championships (the tournament was discontinued in 1973). The nation sent their Olympic champions in the coxless pairs, Siegfried Brietzke and Wolfgang Mager, to Montreal for the event, and they were joined by Andreas Decker and Stefan Semmler. Together, this quartet was on their second of three consecutive victories in the event at the World Championships. Meanwhile, three members of the Soviet crew, Raul Arnemann, [Nikolay Kuznetsov], and Anushavan Gassan-Dzhalilov, had won silver at the past two World Championships, and they were joined by Valery Dolinin.

In the opening round, East Germany set an Olympic record, defeated the Soviet Union in its heat, and was over 12 seconds ahead of the other heat winners from West Germany and the United States. They set another Olympic record in the semi-finals, but a surprise came in the other heat when the Norwegians, who had survived only through the repêchage, beat out the Soviet Union to win their heat. Three of their crew, Ole Nafstad, Arne Bergodd, and Rolf Andreassen, had been bronze medalists at the final edition of the European Championships, while Nafstad also had silver from the 1971 edition. Although the East Germans dominated the final and took gold easily, the underdog Norwegians earned the adoration of many spectators by defeating the Soviet Union once again and capturing silver, leaving the USSR with bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 East Germany GDR Gold
2 Norway NOR Silver
3 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 New Zealand NZL
5 Canada CAN
6 West Germany FRG
7 Bulgaria BUL
8 United States USA
9 Romania ROU
10 Belgium BEL
11 Italy ITA
12 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r2/4 Finland FIN
5 h1 r2/4 Ireland IRL
6 h1 r2/4 Argentina ARG