Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Misari Regatta Course, Hanam
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 25, 1988
The Soviet Union had won the women’s coxed eights event at two of the last three World Championships, but Romania, the 1984 Olympic silver medalists, were the reigning World Champions. The United States, the defending Olympic champions, were also the most recent World runners-up, while East Germany, second-place finishers in 1985 and 1986, was the only other nation to have medaled in this event at the World Championships since 1978. The opening heats were won by Romania and the Soviet Union, but all of the major contenders advanced through the repêchage. As in many finals at the 1988 Summer Olympics, East Germany took command and refused to relent, winning the gold medal comfortably. Romania captured silver and China, who had already surprised spectators as runners-up in the women’s coxed fours, beat out the Soviet Union to take bronze over four seconds later. Every member of the Romanian crew had already won a medal in Seoul: seven had bronze from the coxed fours (two members were substituted in the final), while the other two, Rodica Arba and Olga Homeghi-Bularda, were champions in the coxless pairs. Similarly, five of China’s nine had been part of their silver medal-winning lineup from the coxed fours.