Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Lagoa Stadium, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 8, 2016
Date Finished: August 12, 2016
Franceâs [JÃ©rÃ©mie Azou] was the worldâs leading competitor in Menâs Lightweight Double Sculls going into the 2016 Summer Olympics, having won the 2015 World Championships and the 2013, 2014, and 2015 European Championships with [Stany Delayre]. The duo were also the 2014 World runners-up, behind [John Smith] and [John Thompson], who had been members of South Africaâs gold medal-winning lightweight coxless fours squad at the 2012 Games. In Rio, Azou was partnered with [Pierre Houin] and was expected to face competition from Irish brothers [Gary] and [Paul O'Donovan], the 2016 European Champions, and Norwayâs [Kristoffer Brun] and [Are Strandli], the 2013 World Champions and the 2014 and 2015 World and 2014 European bronze medalists. The reigning Olympic champions, Denmarkâs [Mads Rasmussen] and [Rasmus Quist], had not earned a major title since London, but did return to Rio to defend their crown.
Ireland, Norway, France, and South Africa all came in first in their preliminary heats, with Denmark coming third behind [Josh Konieczny] and [Andrew Campbell] of the United States in the OâDonovan brothersâ heat. Rasmussen and Quist then won the repÃªchage, only to be eliminated in a semifinal where South Africa and Norway came first and second. In the other semifinal, France, the United States, and Ireland qualified for the final in that order, where France was able to shoot to the finish line ahead of Ireland to claim gold, leaving Norway to settle for bronze. Irelandâs silver was the nationâs first ever Olympic medal in rowing.