Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Misari Regatta Course, Hanam
Date Started: September 19, 1988
Date Finished: September 24, 1988
The defending Olympic champions were the Americans and, although they had earned this distinction in the midst of a Soviet-led boycott that had meant the absence of some of the world’s strongest rowing powers, the nation’s victory at the 1987 Pan American Championships meant that their scullers, Glen Florio and Kevin Still, could not be ignored. Most observers, however, would have expected a country from the Communist bloc to take the title and they had at least two nations to choose from. Bulgaria sent its reigning World Champions, Vasil Radev and Daniel Yordanov, to the 1988 Games, while East Germany was always a threat with Uwe Mund and Uwe Heppner, the latter of whom had won a medal at the last four World Championships, including gold in 1983 and 1985. The Soviet Union had won only one World Championship medal in this event since 1975, silver in 1985, and sent Oleksandr Marchenko and Vasily Yakusha. The reigning Commonwealth champions were Pat Walter and Bruce Ford, the latter of whom had won a bronze medal in the quadruple sculls at the 1984 Games.
The heats in the opening round were won by the Soviet Union, the Dutch duo of Ronald Florijn and Nico Rienks, and the Danish pair of Bjarne Eltang and Per Rasmussen, who defeated both East Germany and Bulgaria. The United States, meanwhile, was eliminated in the repêchage. The East Germans regrouped in the semi-finals, winning their heat in the fastest time of the round, but they faltered in the final and finished a distant fifth. The Netherlands, meanwhile, pulled off an upset by capturing gold, as did the Swiss crew of Beat Schwerzmann and Ueli Bodenmann, who took silver by a margin of 0.28 seconds ahead of the bronze medal-winning Soviets. The Netherlands thus earned its first Olympic rowing title since Jan Wienese had won the single sculls in 1968.
1988 Coxless Pairs, Men
|4 h1 r2/4||Mexico||MEX|
|4 h2 r2/4||Chile||CHI|
|4 h3 r2/4||Greece||GRE|
|5 h1 r2/4||United States||USA|
|5 h3 r2/4||Austria||AUT|