Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith, New South Wales
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: September 23, 2000
Reigning champion Xeno Müller journeyed to the 2000 Summer Olympics in the hopes of defending his crown in the men’s single sculls, but he was well aware of the challenge he would face from New Zealand’s Rob Waddell, who had beaten him to the finish at the last two editions of the World Championships. Although these two competitors were the favorites to win gold, there were other less likely contenders in Sydney. Derek Porter of Canada, for example, was the reigning Pan American champion, Olympic runner-up, and World bronze medalist, as well as the 1993 World Champion, and there were many other seasoned veterans at the Games such as Václav Chalupa, Jr. of the Czech Republic, Jüri Jaanson of Estonia, and Sergio Fernández of Argentina.
Waddell posted the fasted time in the opening round, with Porter, Müller, and Germany’s Marcel Hacker, victor in the 1999 Diamond Challenge Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta, winning the other heats. Fernández, meanwhile, was eliminated in the repêchage. Chalupa suffered the same fate in the semi-finals in a heat won Müller, while Waddell again took the round in the fastest time. The New Zealander’s success continued in the final, where he won the gold medal by a margin of over a second and a half. The next three finishers, however, had just over half a second between them and battled down to the line for the remaining podium spots. When the waves settled, Müller had just barely held on to silver, by 0.28 seconds, while Hacker had managed to steal bronze from Porter by 0.27 seconds. One other notable participant was Andris Reinholds of Latvia, who became the first Olympic rower to be disqualified from the Games for doping, as he tested positive for nandrolone. Even though he was eventually relegated to the B final, his participation might have had a small impact on the event, for he helped eliminate Fernández by winning his repêchage heat.
|1||Rob Waddell||25||New Zealand||NZL||Gold|
|8||Don Smith||32||United States||USA|
|9||Matt Wells||20||Great Britain||GBR|
|11||Václav Chalupa, Jr.||32||Czech Republic||CZE|
|21||Lee In-Su||26||South Korea||KOR|
|22||Riadh Ben Khedher||23||Tunisia||TUN|