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
The defending Olympic and four-time World Champion in the women’s single sculls, Christine Scheiblich of East Germany, had retired and been replaced domestically by Martina Schröter. Schröter, however, had failed to uphold East Germany’s dominance at the Worlds and managed only silver in 1979, losing the crown to Sanda Toma of Romania. It was unclear, however, if Toma would be able to repeat this feat in Moscow, and thus both competitors were considered favorites at the 1980 Summer Olympics. If nothing else, it could at least be said that neither would go unchallenged: other World Championship medalists attending the Games were Mariann Ambrus of Hungary (silver in 1975, bronze in 1978 and 1979) and Hette Borrias of the Netherlands (bronze in 1979).
In the opening round, Toma was the slowest heat winner, despite having to contend with Schröter and Borrias in her heat, the latter of whom was the only competitor not to qualify for the semi-finals. The fastest time in the heats went to Rositsa Spasova of Bulgaria, who had been fourth at the 1976 Games, while Beryl Mitchell of Great Britain took her heat despite the presence of Ambrus. Toma and Schröter won their semi-final heats with times only 0.34 seconds apart, which seemed to promise an exciting final. In the end, however, it was the then relatively unknown Soviet entry, Antonina Makhina, with whom Toma had to contend. The Romanian staved off the Soviet challenge, however, and captured gold, while Makhina came in second for silver. Schröter, meanwhile, took bronze, while Spasova finished just off the Olympic podium for the second time. Toma’s victory was the first Olympic rowing gold medal for Romania since the nation made its début in the sport in 1952.
|2||Antonina Makhina-Dumcheva-Zelikovich||22||Soviet Union||URS||Silver|
|3||Martina Schröter||19||East Germany||GDR||Bronze|
|5||Beryl Mitchell||30||Great Britain||GBR|
|10||María Fernanda de la Fuente||25||Mexico||MEX|
|5 h1 r2/4||Hette Borrias||27||Netherlands||NED|