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Rowing at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's Coxless Pairs

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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

Gold: GDR East Germany
Silver: URS Soviet Union
Bronze: GBR Great Britain

Summary

The American-led boycott affected the men’s coxless pairs less than other rowing events, as East Germany had not lost a final in this discipline since it began competing separate from West Germany in 1968 and had taken five of the seven World Championship titles. Twins Jörg and Bernd Landvoigt, the defending Olympic champions and three-time World Champions, were present in Moscow and considered overwhelming favorites. The Soviet Union had won the only World Championship not captured by the Landvoigt brothers since they began competing internationally (East Germany sent a different duo in 1977) and were represented by their own twins at their home Olympics, Yury and Nikolay Pimenov, who were the 1979 World runners-up. Great Britain was able to send the winners of the 1979 Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta, Charles Wiggin and Malcolm Carmichael.

The East Germans dominated the entire competition, first by posting the fastest time in the opening round by over six seconds. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, won its heat over the Britons by over five seconds, while the Italians took the final heat. The East Germans had their largest margin of victory, nearly eleven seconds, in the semi-finals over Great Britain, while the Soviets captured the other heat after a surprisingly hard-fought battle against the Romanians. The final was the most closely-contested portion of the event, but the East Germans were clearly superior and took the gold medal with almost two and a half seconds to spare. The Soviets earned silver while the Britons were mostly unchallenged in nabbing bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 East Germany GDR Gold
2 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Romania ROU
5 Czechoslovakia TCH
6 Sweden SWE
7 Ireland IRL
8 France FRA
9 Austria AUT
10 Australia AUS
11 Italy ITA
DNS r4/4 Denmark DEN
4 h1 r2/4 Spain ESP
5 h1 r2/4 Greece GRE
6 h1 r2/4 Guatemala GUA