Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Eton Dorney, Windsor
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
Going into the lightweight double sculls event at the 2008 Olympics, Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist of Denmark had the last two World Championships under their belt, but they were defeated by the British duo of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter in the finals. From then on the Britons were the team to beat in the race, winning World Championships in 2010 and 2011. The 2012 World Cup season was not their best, however, leaving the 2012 Olympic gold medal up for grabs and giving the Danes a chance for revenge, as all both teams from Beijing would be participating in London. Not to be counted out were Storm Uru and Peter Taylor of New Zealand, winners of the 2009 World Championships and silver medalists in 2011.
Denmark had the fastest time in the heats and the semifinals, although Great Britain closed in on them somewhat in the latter round. The final did not get off to a good start for the British duo, however, as one of the seats on the boat broke once the race had begun. After a delay and some repairs, they were allowed to restart because the equipment failure had occurred within the first 100 meters. Their second start was much better, with Purchase and Hunter quickly taking a lead over the Danes. By the 1500m mark it looked as if Great Britain had clinched the gold medal, but Denmark unleashed a fantastic sprint in the final quarter and the teams went neck and neck right to the line, where Rasmussen and Quist were victorious by six tenths of a second. New Zealand was over three seconds behind Great Britain, but still captured bronze by nearly two seconds over the nearest boat.