Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 19, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008
Russia’s Sergey Ulegin and Aleksandr Kostoglod, the latter of whom was a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, had arguably been the most successful C-2 500 pair since the Athens Games. They were the 2006 and 2008 European and 2006 World Champions, as well as the 2007 European runners-up, while Kostoglod was also a 2005 European bronze medalist. Germany’s Christian Gille and Tomasz Wylenzek, meanwhile, were the 2005 European and World Champions, while Belarusian brothers Andrey and Aleksandr Bogdanovich were the 2007 European champions . China’s Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun were the defending Olympic champions, but they had not medalled at a major international tournament since those Games. Nonetheless, they defeated the Russians in the opening round, while Germany and Belarus were first and second in the other opening heat. The final was a close race between these for nations, all of whom crossed the line within one second of each other, but it was China who made a surprise defense of its Olympic gold medal, leaving Russia with silver and Germany with bronze. This was Gille and Wylenzek’s second medal of the regatta, as they had earned silver in the C-2 1000 the previous day.