Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Canoeing and Rowing Basin, Krylatskoye Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 21, 1980
Date Finished: July 26, 1980
Unlike most of the women’s rowing events at the 1980 Summer Olympics, in which East Germany was perceived as the strongest nation, the Soviet Union were the favorites in coxed eights. Although they had been runners-up at the previous Olympics, they had won the last two editions of the World Championships and taken silver in 1977. East Germany, however, had a strong claim as the defending Olympic champion and the nation that had won three of five World Champions and been runners-up twice. Canada and the United States were absent from the event, due to the American-led boycott, which left Romania as the only other World Championship medalist at the Games and a decent candidate for a podium finish.
The Soviet Union had the upper hand in the opening round, winning their heat by a greater margin and with a faster time than the East Germans, who had to contend with Romania while winning their own heat. In the final, these three nations were surprisingly evenly matched through most of the race, although they began to space out as they approached the finish line. East Germany captured gold, while the Soviet Union took silver and Romania settled for bronze well ahead of its nearest competitor, Bulgaria.