Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Lake Banyoles, Bañolas
Date Started: July 27, 1992
Date Finished: August 1, 1992
The men’s coxed fours had been held in since rowing’s Olympic début in 1900 and had appeared in every edition of the Games since 1920, but 1992 would be the year of its swan song, due to the addition of lightweight rowing classes in 1996. A strong contender for the final Olympic title was Germany, the reigning World Champions as a unified nation and, as East Germany, the defending Olympic champion and 1990 World Champion. Also in contention was Romania, runner-up at the most recent Olympics and World Championships. These two nations took both the heats and the fastest times in the opening round, leading to a showdown in the final that Romania won in Olympic record time. Three members of their crew, Dimitrie Popescu, Neculai Ţaga, and Dumitru Răducanu, also won bronze in the coxed pairs, while Popescu and Răducanu had medals from previous Olympics. Germany, whose squad included Ralf Brudel, 1988 Olympic champion in the coxless fours, and Hendrik Reiher, 1988 Olympic champion in the coxed fours, settled for silver while the Polish crew, bronze medalists at the most recent World Championships, finished nearly three seconds later and captured the final podium spot. Although the men’s coxed fours have continued to be contested at the World Championships, the event has not, as of 2012, appeared in the Olympics since this tournament.