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Rowing at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Coxless Fours

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Misari Regatta Course, Hanam
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 25, 1988

Gold: GDR East Germany
Silver: USA United States
Bronze: FRG West Germany

Summary

The last 12 World Championship medals in the men’s coxless fours had gone to only four countries. The reigning champions were Roland Schröder, Thomas Greiner, Ralf Brudel, and Olaf Förster of East Germany, representing a nation that had won bronze in 1985 and 1986 with different lineups. The Soviet Union had been runner-up in 1985 and 1987, and was represented at the 1988 Summer Olympics by Ivan Vysotskiy, [Sergey Smirnov], and twin brothers Yury and Nikolay Pimenov, the latter of whom were the runners-up in the 1980 Olympic coxless pairs competition. The United States, who had won the title in 1986 and were the reigning bronze medalists, sent Raoul Rodriguez, Jr., Thomas Bohrer, David Krmpotich, and Richard Kennelly, Jr. to Seoul. Finally, West Germany had won the 1985 World Championships and earned silver in 1986 with Norbert Keßlau, Jörg Puttlitz, and brothers Volker and Guido Grabow. The Canadians were the reigning Commonwealth Champions, but were represented by a different lineup (Darby Berkhout, Raymond Collier, John Ossowski, and Bruce Robertson) at the 1988 Games.

The opening heats were won by the United States (who had the fastest time), East Germany, and Great Britain’s Simon Berrisford, Mark Buckingham, Peter Mulkerrins, and Stephen Peel, who faced no serious contenders in their heat. East Germany put on an even more impressive display in the semi-finals, posting a time almost three seconds faster than its nearest competitor, defeating both the Soviets and the Britons, and eliminating the Canadians. West Germany, meanwhile, took the other heat. In the final, East Germany remained unstoppable and captured gold over two and a half seconds ahead of the silver medal-winning Americans. West Germany, meanwhile, edged out Great Britain for bronze, the latter of whom had led the race for some time, but whose lead was slowly whittled down over the course of the event until they were knocked off the podium by a margin of 0.52 seconds.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 East Germany GDR Gold
2 United States USA Silver
3 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Great Britain GBR
5 Italy ITA
6 Soviet Union URS
7 New Zealand NZL
8 France FRA
9 Netherlands NED
10 Sweden SWE
11 Canada CAN
12 Greece GRE
4 h1 r2/4 Spain ESP
5 h1 r2/4 Brazil BRA
6 h1 r2/4 South Korea KOR