Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008
Denmark was the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s lightweight coxless fours and sent two of its titleholders, Thomas Ebert and Eskild Ebbesen, to defend the crown at the 2008 Summer Olympics. There had been, however, no obviously dominant nation at the World Championships and there were no clear favorites in Beijing. France, the 2005 World Champion and 2006 and 2007 runner-up, was the only nation to have medalled at all three of the recent tournaments, but Italy had been bronze medalists in 2005 and 2007 and was the winner of the event at the European Championships when it was resurrected in 2007. Richard Chambers, James Lindsay-Fynn, Paul Mattick, and James Clarke of Great Britain were the reigning World Champions, while the Canadians were the most recent Pan American champions, albeit with a different lineup than the one that they brought to Beijing.
Denmark won its heat with the fastest time of the opening round, defeating Canada in the process, but its time was only 0.04 seconds faster than the Germans. The final heat was captured by the 2006 World Champions, China’s Huang Zhongming, Wu Chongkui, Zhang Lin, and Tian Jun, who bested the British crew in the process. Denmark was again victorious in the semi-finals with the fastest time, while Poland took the other heat, eliminating China in the process. Denmark won the final with ease, leading the entire race, while Canada followed close behind for the first half, until it was eventually overcome by Poland. Canada and Poland went neck and neck at various points in their bid to capture silver, with the latter emerging victorious by only 0.7 seconds, leaving the former with bronze.