Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Canoeing and Rowing Basin, Krylatskoye Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 31, 1980
Date Finished: August 2, 1980
The Soviet Union had won the K-2 1000 at the last three Olympics and was represented by Vladimir Parfenovich and Serhiy Chukhrai, the latter of whom was a 1978 World Champion, at the 1980 Games. Hungary’s [István Szabó] was a 1976 Olympic bronze medalist and 1977 World Champion, as well as a 1978 bronze medalist and 1979 runner-up, and returned to the Games in 1980 with a new partner István Joós. This event was one of the few in canoeing that was hurt by the American-led boycott of the tournament due to the absence of Norway’s Olaf Søyland and Einar Rasmussen, the reigning World Champions and 1978 runners-up. This left East Germany, the 1976 Olympic and 1977 World runner-up, as the only other nation to have won a major international medal in the event within the last four years, and it sent Peter Hempel and Harry Nolte.
The Soviet Union posted the fastest time in the opening round, defeating Hungary in the process, but the Spanish duo of Luis Ramos and Herminio Menéndez were only 0.22 seconds behind in winning their own heat ahead of East Germany. The third heat was taken by Cuba’s José Marrero and Reynaldo Cunill. East Germany was the fastest in the semi-finals, and bested Cuba, while the Soviet Union and Spain captured the remaining heats, the latter doing so at the expense of the Hungarians. The Soviet Union took charge in the final and won gold with little difficulty, but race for the remaining podium spots developed into an exciting three-way battle between Hungary, Spain, and Romania’s Alexandru Giura and Nicolae Ţicu. These nations crossed the finish line in that order with only 0.45 seconds between them. Both Soviets also won the K-2 500, while Parfenovich was a triple Olympic champion due to his success in the K-1 500. Menéndez, meanwhile, also took silver in the K-2 500.
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