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Rowing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games:

Men's Single Sculls

Rowing at the 2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


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

Gold: NZL Mahé Drysdale
Silver: CRO Damir Martin
Bronze: CZE Ondřej Synek


The defending Olympic champion, [Mahé 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 Republic’s [Ondřej 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 Croatia’s [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 Norway’s [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 people’s 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 Ecuador’s début respectively in Olympic rowing.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mahé Drysdale 37 New Zealand NZL Gold OB
2 Damir Martin 28 Croatia CRO Silver
3 Ondřej Synek 33 Czech Republic CZE Bronze
4 Hannes Obreno 25 Belgium BEL
5 Stanislav Shcherbachenya 31 Belarus BLR
6 Ángel Fournier 28 Cuba CUB
7 Natan Węgrzycki-Szymczyk 21 Poland POL
8 Juan Carlos Cabrera 24 Mexico MEX
9 Rhys Grant 29 Australia AUS
10 Abdelkhalek El-Banna 28 Egypt EGY
11 Nils Jakob Hoff 31 Norway NOR
12 Alan Campbell 33 Great Britain GBR
13 Dattu Baban Bhokanal 25 India IND
14 Bendegúz Pétervári-Molnár 23 Hungary HUN
15 Brian Rosso 28 Argentina ARG
16 Memo 21 Indonesia INA
17 Kim Dong-Yong 25 South Korea KOR
18 Jhonatan Esquivel 27 Uruguay URU
19 Armandas Kelmelis 18 Lithuania LTU
20 Renzo León 25 Peru PER
21 Mohammed Al-Khafaji 22 Iraq IRQ
22 Shakhboz Kholmurzayev 20 Uzbekistan UZB
23 Sid Boudina 26 Algeria ALG
24 Arturo Rivarola 26 Paraguay PAR
25 Andrew Peebles 27 Zimbabwe ZIM
26 Jaruwat Saensuk 20 Thailand THA
27 Mohamed Taieb 19 Tunisia TUN
28 Bryan Sola 24 Ecuador ECU
29 Jakson Vicent 24 Venezuela VEN
30 Luigi Teilemb 24 Vanuatu VAN
31 Vladislav Yakovlev 23 Kazakhstan KAZ
32 Hussein Gambour 26 Libya LBA