Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Lake Banyoles, Bañolas
Date Started: July 28, 1992
Date Finished: August 2, 1992
The Italian trio of Giuseppe Di Capua and [Carmine] and Giuseppe Abbagnale had won the men’s coxed pairs at the previous two Olympics and seven of the last nine World Championships, including the four most recent ones, and were therefore the overwhelming favorites in the event at the 1992 Summer Olympics. In the opening round, however, it was the British crew of Garry Herbert and brothers Jonny and Greg Searle who posted an Olympic record time, a surprising feat considering that the trio had rowed together in this discipline less than a dozen times. The other heats were won by Italy and Poland, the latter of whom was represented by Piotr Basta, Tomasz Mruczkowski, and Bartosz Sroga, the most recent World runners-up. In the semi-finals, the Britons demonstrated that their opening performance was no fluke by improving upon their Olympic record, while the Italians took the other heat. In the final, the Italians pulled to the front immediately and took on a huge lead, which seemed to indicate that they had simply been saving their strength for the medal round. In the last 500 metres, however, the Britons, who had been in third, undertook a powerful drive and quickly overtook the Romanian crew that had been in second place. In one of the most incredible finishes in Olympic rowing, Great Britain burst to the front within the final 25 strokes to capture the gold medal, leaving the stunned Italians with silver. The Romanians, Neculai Ţaga and previous Olympic medalists Dimitrie Popescu and Dumitru Răducanu, came in well ahead of Germany for bronze.