Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Lake Banyoles, Bañolas
Date Started: July 28, 1992
Date Finished: August 2, 1992
Germans, representing either West or unified Germany, were the reigning Olympic champions in the men’s coxed eights and winners of the event at the last four editions of the World Championships, making them favorites to defend their crown at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Four members of their lineup, Armin Eichholz, Bahne Rabe, Ansgar Wessling, and Manfred Klein, were veterans of the 1988 tournament. If anyone stood out as a challenger, it was Canada, who had been runner-up at the last two World Championships. In the opening round, however, not only did Romania defeat the Germans, but it did so in Olympic record time. The Canadians and the Americans, meanwhile, won the other two heats. In the semi-finals, the Romanians again posted the fastest finish, this time against the Canadians, while the Germans bested the Americans. The race was close among all the boats for much of the race, but particularly for Canada and Romania, who were neck and neck in first place as they drove towards the finish line. The Canadians had pulled ahead by the 1500 metre mark and they appeared to have clinched victory, but the Romanians put forth an extraordinary effort in the last stretch and nearly caught up to their opponents. The photo finish confirmed, however, that the Canadians had kept Romania at bay just long enough, taking the gold medal in Olympic record time and by a margin of only 0.14 seconds. Germany was not far behind either, capturing bronze 0.33 seconds after the Romanians’ silver.