Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 18, 2008
Date Finished: August 22, 2008
Since winning the K-4 1000 event at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Hungary’s only podium finishes had been first at the 2006 World Championships and second at the 2007 European Champions. Germany was the reigning World Champion, as well as the 2005 World Champion, the 2008 European runner-up, and the 2006 European bronze medalist, while Slovakia had won the last four European championships, been runner-up at the 2005 Worlds, and bronze medalist at the most recent edition. Slovakia and Germany won their heats in the opening round of the event at the 2008 Olympics, while Hungary came in second in the latter’s heat. The Slovakians led the pack through the first half of the course, but were overtaken by Belarus by the three-quarter mark and were never able to regain their led. Belarus, the 2006 European runner-up and World bronze medalist, won a surprise gold medal, while a stunned Slovakia came in for silver, just 0.083 seconds ahead of the Germans, who took bronze. Two of the Belarusians, [Roman Petrushenko] and [Vadim Makhnyov], won their second medal of the day, having earned bronze in the K-2 500.