Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre, Schinias National Park
Date Started: August 14, 2004
Date Finished: August 21, 2004
The reigning Olympic champions from Slovenia, Luka Špik and Iztok Čop, travelled to the 2004 Summer Olympics to defend their crown in the men’s double sculls, but they would not go unchallenged, as the reigning World Champions and 2001 runners-up, Sébastien Vielledent and Adrien Hardy of France, also had a strong claim to the title. The French duo had also been the winners of the 2002 Double Sculls Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. Hungarians Ákos Haller and Tibor Pető were the 2001 and 2002 World Champions, but Haller had a different partner, Gábor Bencsik in Athens. The Italians had been Olympic and World bronze medalists in 2000 and 2001 respectively and had been runner-up at the last two Worlds, most recently with their Olympic crew of Rossano Galtarossa and Alessio Sartori, both of whom were Olympic champions in the quadruple sculls from 2000. Cuba sent Yosbel Martínez and Yoennis Hernández, the reigning Pan-American champions.
Italy, Slovenia, and France won their opening heats, all in times significantly ahead of the rest of the field, while Hungary won the repêchage. The semi-finals were won by Slovenia and Italy, the latter of whom set an Olympic record and defeated France in the process. Hungary and Cuba, meanwhile, were eliminated in Slovenia’s heat. The final was fairly spread out, with France, Slovenia, and Italy taking gold, silver, and bronze without much of a challenge and comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack.