Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Misari Regatta Course, Hanam
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 25, 1988
The women’s coxless quadruple sculls was held for the first time at the 1988 Summer Games, although a coxed version had been contested at the last three Olympics. At the World Championships, the change from a crew of five to four had first occurred in 1985 and, since then, the East Germans had won every time. In Seoul the country was represented by Kerstin Förster, Kristina Mundt, Beate Schramm, and Jana Sorgers, all of whom except for Schramm had World Championship titles. No other nation had been able to challenge the East Germans consistently, although the Romanian quartet included [Veronica Cogeanu] and Elisabeta Lipă, who were beginning their journey of becoming the most decorated rowers in Olympic history. In the opening round, however, it was Bulgaria, the most recent World runner-up, who led the field, winning its heat and defeating the Romanians in the process. Its crew included Iskra Velinova, a 1980 Olympic silver medalist in the coxed fours. East Germany captured the other heat, albeit in a much slower time, but rebounded in the final and took the gold medal by a comfortable margin. The Soviet crew took silver and included Antonina Dumcheva, the runner-up in the 1980 Olympic single sculls. Bulgaria, meanwhile, faltered in the medal around and allowed Romania to sneak ahead of it and claim bronze.