Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Lake Banyoles, Bañolas
Date Started: July 27, 1992
Date Finished: August 1, 1992
One of the defending Olympic champions from the Netherlands, Nico Rienks attended the 1992 Summer Olympics to defend his crown in the men’s double sculls and brought with him Henk Jan Zwolle. These men were the reigning World Champions, but no nation had been particularly dominant in this event at that tournament. Don Dickison and Todd Hallett of Canada were the most recent victors in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. The opening heats were won by Zwolle and Rienks, the Austrian duo of Arnold Jonke and Christoph Zerbst, who had won the 1990 World Championships, Germans Peter Uhrig and Christian Händle, and Australians Steve Hawkins and Peter Antonie, who posted the fastest time in the round. In the semi-finals, the Austrians recorded the quickest run, beating the Dutch duo by over half a second, the Australians captured the other heat, and both the Canadians and the Germans were eliminated. The final was a hard-fought affair between the Austrians and the Australians, but the latter pulled away near the end and captured the gold medal, leaving the former to settle for silver. The defending champions finished much later, but remained on the podium by taking bronze. It was Australia’s first victory in Olympic rowing since Merv Wood had won the single sculls in 1948 and, as for Austria, it was the nation’s first Olympic rowing medal of any color since Alfred Sageder and Josef Kloimstein had taken silver in the 1960 coxless pairs event and remains, as of 2012, its most recent one.