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
[Olaf Tufte] of Norway, [Marcel Hacker] of Germany, and [Iztok Čop] of Slovenia had won 11 of the last 12 World Championship medals in the men’s single sculls. Tufte was the 2001 and 2003 champion and the 2002 bronze medalist, Hacker was the 2002 champion and the 2003 runner-up (as well as the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and winner of the 1999 and 2004 Diamond Challenge Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta), and Čop was the 2001 and 2002 runner-up and the 2003 bronze medalist. The odd one out was [Václav Chalupa, Jr.], bronze medalist in 2001 and Olympic runner-up in 1992. Čop elected to try and defend his title in the double sculls in Athens, leaving [Davor Mizerit] to represent his nation in the singles. Meanwhile, defending Olympic champion [Rob Waddell] of New Zealand had retired from rowing to try his hand at sailing, while 1996 Olympic champion and 2000 runner-up [Xeno Müller] of Switzerland had retired, leaving Tufte and Hacker as the favorites at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
The opening heats were won by Tufte (who posted the fastest time of the round), Chalupa, Belgium’s [Tim Maeyens], and [Santiago Fernández] of Argentina, the latter of whom was the reigning Pan American runner-up. The semi-finals, meanwhile, were taken by Chalupa, Tufte, and Estonia’s [Jüri Jaanson], while Mizerit and Hacker were eliminated in favor of Fernández and [Ivo Yanakiev] of Bulgaria. Jaanson had been the World Champion in 1990, but had not seen the podium at that tournament since being runner-up in 1995. In the final, he put out an impressive effort, but was unable to outperform Tufte, who won gold comfortably, leaving the Estonian with silver. Yanakiev crossed the finish line shortly thereafter to take the bronze medal. Jaanson’s medal was not only the first for Estonia in rowing, but his first in five editions of the Olympics, as he débuted in 1988 for the Soviet Union.
|5||Václav Chalupa, Jr.||36||Czech Republic||CZE|
|10||Ian Lawson||27||Great Britain||GBR|
|18||Law Hiu Fung||20||Hong Kong||HKG|
|22||Ham Jeong-Uk||19||South Korea||KOR|
|25||Wang Ming-Hui||18||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|29||Paulose Pandari Kunnel||27||India||IND|