Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Lake Casitas, Los Padres National Forest, California
Date Started: July 30, 1984
Date Finished: August 5, 1984
The absence of East Germany at the 1984 Summer Olympics, due to the Soviet-led boycott, was felt heavily in the men’s coxless pairs, as the nation had not lost an Olympic final since it began competing independently in 1968 and were the reigning World Champions. With the Soviets having won the Worlds in 1981, Norway’s [Hans Magnus Grepperud] and [Sverre Løken] were the only competitors in Los Angeles to have won a World Championship in the past three years. Brothers [Ronaldo] and [Ricardo de Carvalho] represented Brazil, the reigning Pan American champion.
With the competition more open than it had been in years, the opening heats were won by Norway and the West German duo of [Axel Wöstmann] and [Thomas Möllenkamp]. Norway won its heat again in the semi-finals, but the crews from Norway, Romania ([Petru Iosub] and [Valer Toma], the other heat winners), and Spain ([Fernando Climent] and [Luis Lasúrtegui]) all had times within 0.35 seconds of each other. This seemed to indicate the possibility of an exciting final, but the podium spots were more spread out in the end: the Romanians won gold almost three and a half seconds ahead of the Spaniards, who in turn took silver nearly three seconds ahead of the Norwegians. This was Spain’s first, and as of 2012 only, medal in Olympic rowing, despite the nation having made its first appearance in rowing in the inaugural 1900 tournament.