Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 9, 2008
Date Finished: August 16, 2008
The favorite in the men’s single sculls at the 2008 Summer Olympics was Mahé Drysdale of New Zealand, who had won the event at the last three editions of the World Championships, as well as the 2006 Diamond Challenge Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta. His strongest challenger was probably Olaf Tufte of Norway, the defending Olympic champion, 2005 World runner-up, and 2007 World bronze medalist, but there were other contenders as well. Marcel Hacker of Germany was the 2006 World runner-up and the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, Ondřej Synek of the Czech Republic was the 2005 and 2006 World bronze medalist and the 2007 World runner-up, Argentina’s Santiago Fernández was the reigning Pan American champion, and Alan Campbell was the winner of the 2007 Diamond Challenge Sculls.
Tufte, Campbell, Synek, and Drysdale won four of the heats, while a fifth was taken by Belgium’s Tim Maeyens. Fernández was nearly eliminated in Maeyens’ heat, while Hacker came in second to Lassi Karonen of Sweden. For the first time since 1912, a quarter-final was held, one that allowed all of these rowers to advance except for Fernández, who was relegated to the C/D semi-final. Of these remaining seven, only six could advance to the A Final, and the odd one out was Hacker, who finished fourth in heat one behind Karonen, Tufte, and Maeyens. In the final, Drysdale, Synek, and Tufte had all broken away from the pack by the final stretch and battled each other to capture gold. The Norwegian emerged as the victor, with Synek coming in 0.8 seconds later for silver, leaving bronze for the pre-race favorite from New Zealand.
|2||Ondřej Synek||25||Czech Republic||CZE||Silver|
|3||Mahé Drysdale||29||New Zealand||NZL||Bronze|
|5||Alan Campbell||25||Great Britain||GBR|
|11||Ken Jurkowski||26||United States||USA|
|20||Law Hiu Fung||24||Hong Kong||HKG|
|23||Wang Ming-Hui||22||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|28||Paul Etia Ndoumbè||24||Cameroon||CMR|
|30||Matthew Lidaywa Lidaywa||29||Kenya||KEN|
|6 h4 r2/4||Santiago Fernández||31||Argentina||ARG|