Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008
The Polish quartet of Konrad Wasielewski, Marek Kolbowicz, Michal Jeliński, and Adam Korol had won the men’s quadruple sculls event at the last three editions of the World Championships and were the favorites to take the title at the 2008 Summer Olympics. No other nation had provided a consistent challenge to their prowess on the international stage. Russia was the defending Olympic champion, but its only major international victory since had come at the recently-resurrected European Championships, where it won gold in the inaugural 2007 edition. Poland won its heat in the opening round, but seemed to be conserving its strength, as both Australia and Italy, the latter of whom was the reigning European runner-up, finished faster in heat one. The third heat was won by Ukraine, the 2006 World runners-up. Poland warmed up more as it won its semi-final heat, but Italy still bested its time by 0.09 seconds. In the final, however, there was no holding back, and the Polish crew captured gold comfortably, over two seconds ahead of the silver medal-winning Italians. Meanwhile France, the reigning World runners-up, outperformed Australia at the line to take the final podium spot.