Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre, Schinias National Park
Date Started: August 23, 2004
Date Finished: August 27, 2004
Hungary was the reigning Olympic champion in the K-4 1000, but its only major international title in the last three years came at the 2004 European Championships. It was also runner-up at the 2002 edition, as well as at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. The nation brought its defending Olympic lineup, Zoltán Kammerer, Botond Storcz, Ákos Vereckei, and Gábor Horváth, to the 2004 Games. Germany, the other traditionally strong nation in this event, had seen a little more success, winning the 2001 World Championships, being runner-up in 2002 and a bronze medalist in 2003, and coming in second at the 2001 European Championships. It was Slovakia, however, that had become the dominant power, winning the Worlds in 2002 and 2003 and the Europeans in 2001 and 2002. Both Slovakia and Hungary won their heats and qualified directly for the final, with the latter doing so in Olympic record time. Germany was third in Hungary’s heat, behind 2001 European bronze medalist Belarus, but was also able to avoid the semi-finals. Hungary was dominant in the medal round, winning gold almost two seconds ahead of Germany, who in turn was able to capture silver without too much difficulty. Slovakia, meanwhile, had to stave off a challenge from Bulgaria, bronze medalist at the 2002 European and World Championships, in order to claim bronze.