Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Lake Sidney Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: July 27, 1996
The men’s single sculls event at the 1996 Summer Olympics was full of rowing luminaries, but no one candidate stood out as an absolute favorite. The two-time defending Olympic champion, [Thomas Lange] of Germany, was probably a solid bet, but his only podium finish at the last three World Championships was third in 1993, although he did win the Diamond Challenge Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta that year. There were, however, three other World Champions in Atlanta: Slovenia’s [Iztok Čop], the reigning World Champion who also had a bronze medal from the 1992 Olympic coxless pairs, Canadian [Derek Porter], the 1993 World Champion who was also an Olympic champion from the 1988 coxed eights, and Estonia’s [Jüri Jaanson], the 1990 World Champion and 1995 winner of the Diamond Challenge Sculls. Also present were [Václav Chalupa, Jr.] of the Czech Republic, a four-time World and 1992 Olympic runner-up, [Sergio Fernández] of Argentina, the reigning Pan American champion, and [Xeno Müller] of Switzerland, 1994 World runner-up and winner of that year’s Diamond Challenge Sculls.
Müller posted the fastest time in the opening round by five seconds, with the other heats being won by Porter, Lange, and Chalupa. Jaanson, meanwhile, had a surprisingly poor performance in both round one and the repêchage and was eliminated. Müller was somewhat less dominant in the semi-finals, although he was still over two seconds faster than anyone else, while Lange carried his heat and Fernández was eliminated. Müller capped off his excellent performance by winning the final in Olympic record time and earning Switzerland its first Olympic rowing title since 1928, a feat that was also matched in Atlanta by brothers [Markus] and [Michael Gier] in the lightweight double sculls. Porter and Lange, meanwhile, were neck and neck just before the finish line, but the Canadian edged out the two-time Olympic champion by 0.27 seconds to capture the silver medal.
|5||Václav Chalupa, Jr.||28||Czech Republic||CZE|
|7||Rob Waddell||21||New Zealand||NZL|
|10||Cyrus Beasley||24||United States||USA|
|11||Peter Haining||34||Great Britain||GBR|
|21||Michael Tse||32||Hong Kong||HKG|