Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Lake Sidney Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
Date Started: July 31, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996
Germany had won the women’s K-2 500 at the last two Olympics and six of the last seven editions of the World Championships and brought a strong crew of Ramona Portwich and Birgit Fischer who, between them, had 35 World Championship titles, seven of which were in the K-2 500. This duo won their heat in the opening round, but the other heat winners, Sweden and Hungary, had faster times. Sweden’s lineup included Agneta Andersson, who, in her sixth edition of the Games, was an Olympic champion in this event from 1984, as well as the 1993 World Champion, and was joined by Susanne Gunnarsson, who had helped Andersson take silver in the event at the 1992 Games. Hungary, meanwhile, had Rita Kőbán, whose six World titles did not include the K-2 500, but who was considered a serious contender nonetheless and was partnered with Szilvia Mednyánszki. Hungary defeated Germany in the semi-finals, while Sweden took the other heat, but in the final it looked as if Germany was going to take the gold medal without too much difficulty. In the final stretch, however, Sweden unleashed a powerful drive and passed the Germans, nabbing the title by a margin of 0.36 seconds and leaving their opponents with silver. Thus, after having won the K-4 500, Fischer and Portwich failed to become double Olympic champions at the Games, while Andersson added gold to the bronze that she had won in that event. Australians Anna Wood and former German Katrin Borchert, meanwhile, stole bronze from the Hungarians by 0.252 seconds.
|7 h2r3/4||Czech Republic||CZE|
|8 h2r3/4||United States||USA|
|9 h1r3/4||Great Britain||GBR|