Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Lagoa Stadium, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 19, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
The womenâs K-4 500 event was introduced at the 1984 Summer Olympics, the only time in the competitionâs Olympic history that the first two podium spots did not go to either Hungary or a German nation (Hungary and East Germany were among the nations that boycotted these Games). Since then the Germans (East Germany in 1988) had taken the gold medal every time but twice, losing it to Hungary in 1992 and 2012. In the World Championships, Hungary earned the title eleven times and Germany or East Germany twelve times since its Olympic debut, with Germany not having won since 2007. In 2015, however, Belarus became the first nation other than Germany or Hungary to win the event at the World Championships since Bulgaria in 1977. Belarus was the bronze medalist in London, as well as at the 2011, 2013, and 2014 World Championships, and was also the 2015 European Champion, leaving many to wonder if a new Olympic Champion would be crowned for the first time in 32 years.
Belarus and Hungary won their preliminary heats, while Germany finished third in Hungaryâs heat behind the Ukrainians, who were the 2015 World runners-up. Germany then breezed through the semifinal, with New Zealand winning the other heat. The final was less nail-biting than it had been in the past, although Hungary and Germany retained their considerable lead over the rest of the field. Hungary won with nearly a second to spare over Germany, who in turn was over a second and a half ahead of Belarus.