Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Canoeing and Rowing Basin, Krylatskoye Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 27, 1980
The defending Olympic champion in the men’s coxed fours was the Soviet Union, who had also been the runner-up in the most recent World Championships. East Germany, however, had won the event in every edition of the World Championships since the last Olympics. With the strong West German crew absent from the Games due to the American-led boycott, it was the Soviets and the East Germans who were the favorites in Moscow. Surprisingly, however, it was Spain who had the fastest time in the opening round, despite East Germany being in the more difficult heat that included the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, the East Germans won their heat ahead of a lacklustre effort from the Soviets, who were even bested by an unheralded Polish crew. In the final, however, the Soviet Union overcame Poland to take silver, but was well behind the East Germans, who won gold. Poland captured bronze, its first Olympic rowing medal since Teodor Kocerka had had the same result in the single sculls 20 years earlier.