Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Lagoa Stadium, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 6, 2016
Date Finished: August 13, 2016
The defending Olympic champion, [MahÃ© Drysdale] of New Zealand, had not been a World Champion since his victory in London (partially due to a break he took from the sport in 2013), although he had been runner-up in 2014 and 2015. The Czech Republicâs [OndÅej Synek] had been the World Champion for the last three years, as well as the European Champion in 2013 and 2014 and runner-up in 2015. He entered his fourth Olympics as a strong contender who, having been runner-up in 2008 and 2012, seemed more determined than ever to win gold. Only Croatiaâs [Damir Martin], the 2015 and 2016 European Champion, had been able to truly challenge Synek in the lead-up to Rio.
Drysdale and Synek both won their preliminary heats, while Martin was bested by Norwayâs [Nils Jakob Hoff]. Martin fared much better in the quarterfinals, posting the fastest time, while Drysdale came out well ahead of Synek in their shared heat. It was Martin and Synek who would face off in the in the semifinals, with Synek coming out on top by less than a second. This set up a final that exceeded most peopleâs already high expectations for excitement: heading towards the finish line it was Drysdale and Martin leading the pack and they crossed over in what seemed to be a dead heat, as both recorded the same Olympic record time of 6:41.34. A controversial photo finish first suggested that Martin had won, but the judges decided eventually that Drysdale had barely eked out a defense of his crown. The Croatian Olympic Committee demanded an independent expert analysis, while even the New Zealander admitted that he might have to share gold, although he retained his medal by the conclusion of the Games. Synek captured the bronze medal, far ahead of the other finalists, yet also well behind Drysdale and Martin. Although eliminated in the heats, [Luigi Teilemb], [Hussein Gambour], and [Bryan Sola] made Vanuatu, Libya, and Ecuadorâs dÃ©but respectively in Olympic rowing.
|1||MahÃ© Drysdale||37||New Zealand||NZL||Gold||OB|
|3||OndÅej Synek||33||Czech Republic||CZE||Bronze|
|8||Juan Carlos Cabrera||24||Mexico||MEX|
|11||Nils Jakob Hoff||31||Norway||NOR|
|12||Alan Campbell||33||Great Britain||GBR|
|13||Dattu Baban Bhokanal||25||India||IND|
|17||Kim Dong-Yong||25||South Korea||KOR|