Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith, New South Wales
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: September 23, 2000
Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent of Great Britain had won the coxless pairs at four consecutive World Championships from 1991 through 1995, as well as the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, before switching to the coxless fours and dominating that discipline as well, taking the event at the next three World Championships. Joined by multiple World Champions James Cracknell and Tim Foster, this quartet was overwhelmingly favored at the 2000 Games. The Britons dominated the opening round, posting the fastest time by over three seconds, with the other heat winners being France, the 1997 and 1998 World runners-up, and Italy, the 1998 and 1999 World bronze medalists. In the semi-finals, it was Australia, the reigning World runner-up, who finished fastest, likely due to the challenge they faced from the Italians in their heat, whom they managed to defeat by a margin of only 0.28 seconds. France, meanwhile, experienced a surprise elimination in Great Britain’s heat. Particularly in consideration of the absence of the French crew, the final was far more exciting than expected, with Great Britain and Italy battling down to the line for the gold medal. The favorites took it, but by a much smaller margin (0.38 seconds) than expected. Australia was not far behind and captured the final podium spot, behind Italy’s silver medal.