Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith, New South Wales
Date Started: September 18, 2000
Date Finished: September 24, 2000
Denmark was the reigning Olympic champion and winner of the men’s lightweight coxless fours at the last three editions of the World Championships and, even though its lineup had shifted slightly, it was still considered the favorite to defend its crown at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Challenging this nation would be France, who finished in second (1997 and 1998) or third (1999) at the last three World Championships, and Australia, the 1999 runner-up and the 1998 bronze medalist. In the opening round, Australia and France were indeed victorious in their heats, the latter in the round’s best time, but Denmark struggled and finished last in a heat won by Italy. The Danes survived by winning the repêchage, but lost to the Italians again in the semi-finals, albeit not by anywhere near as large of a margin. Australia and France, meanwhile, met in this round and had an exhilarating race, with the former edging the latter out by a mere 0.03 seconds at the finish line. In the final, however, it was France who gained the upper hand and won by a slightly more comfortable 0.41 seconds, leaving the Australians with silver. Denmark, meanwhile, finally managed to get the best of the Italians, but not by much, capturing bronze by a margin of only 0.26 seconds.