Rowing at the 1936 Summer Olympics – Men's eight

The men's eight competition at the 1936 Summer Olympics took place at Grünau Regatta Course in Berlin, Germany. The event was held from 12 to 14 August, and was won by a United States crew from the University of Washington. This event is chronicled in The Boys in the Boat written by Daniel James Brown.[1] There were 14 boats (126 competitors) from 14 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event. The victory was the fifth consecutive gold medal in the event for the United States and seventh overall; the Americans had won every time they competed (missing 1908 and 1912). Italy repeated as silver medalists. Germany earned its first medal in the men's eight since 1912 with its bronze. Canada's three-Games podium streak ended.

Men's eight
at the Games of the XI Olympiad
Rowing pictogram.svg
Rowing pictogram
VenueGrünau Regatta Course
Dates12–14 August
Competitors126 from 14 nations
Winning time6:25.4
1st place, gold medalist(s)  United States
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Italy
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Germany
← 1932
1948 →


This was the ninth appearance of the event. Rowing had been on the programme in 1896 but was cancelled due to bad weather. The men's eight has been held every time that rowing has been contested, beginning in 1900.[2]

The United States was the dominant nation in the event, with the nation winning the previous four Olympic men's eight competitions (as well as the other two competitions which the United States had entered). The American squad this year came from the University of Washington, which had won the 1936 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta. Switzerland had won the 1936 Grand Challenge Cup. Hungary had won the 1933, 1934, and 1935 European championships.[2]

Yugoslavia made its debut in the event. Canada, Great Britain, and the United States each made their seventh appearance, tied for most among nations to that point.

Competition formatEdit

The "eight" event featured nine-person boats, with eight rowers and a coxswain. It was a sweep rowing event, with the rowers each having one oar (and thus each rowing on one side). The course used the 2000 metres distance that became the Olympic standard in 1912.[3]

The 1936 competition had a six-boat final for the first time. The competition continued to use the three-round format used in 1932, with two main rounds (semifinals and a final) and a repechage.

  • The semifinals placed the 14 boats in 3 heats, with 4 or 5 boats per heat. The winner of each heat (3 boats total) advanced directly to the final, while the other boats (11 total) went to the repechage.
  • The repechage had 11 boats. They were placed in 3 heats, with 3 or 4 boats each. The winner of each repechage heat (3 boats) rejoined the semifinal winners in the final, with the other boats (8 total) eliminated.
  • The final round consisted of a single final for the medals and 4th through 6th place.


Date Time Round
Wednesday, 12 August 1936 17:15 Semifinals
Thursday, 13 August 1936 18:15 Repechage
Friday, 14 August 1936 18:00 Final



12 August. The first boat in each heat advanced directly to final. The other boats competed again in the repechage for remaining spots in the final.

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Robert Moch   United States 6:00.8 Q
2 Noel Duckworth   Great Britain 6:02.1 R
3 Claude Lowenstein   France 6:11.6 R
4 Tadashi Shimijima   Japan 6:12.3 R
5 Bedřich Procházka   Czechoslovakia 6:28.6 R

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Ervin Kereszthy   Hungary 6:07.1 Q
2 Cesare Milani   Italy 6:10.1 R
3 Les MacDonald   Canada 6:14.3 R
4 Norman Ella   Australia 6:21.9 R
5 Rodolpho Rath   Brazil 6:33.2 R

Semifinal 3Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Rolf Spring   Switzerland 6:08.4 Q
2 Wilhelm Mahlow   Germany 6:08.5 R
3 Pavao Ljubičić   Yugoslavia 6:15.5 R
4 Harry Gregersen   Denmark 6:18.0 R


13 August. The winner of each race advanced to the final; the other boats were eliminated.

Repechage heat 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Wilhelm Mahlow   Germany 6:44.9 Q
2 Norman Ella   Australia 6:55.1
3 Bedřich Procházka   Czechoslovakia 7:07.8
Harry Gregersen   Denmark DNS

Repechage heat 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Cesare Milani   Italy 6:35.6 Q
2 Tadashi Shimijima   Japan 6:42.3
3 Pavao Ljubičić   Yugoslavia 6:47.3
4 Rodolpho Rath   Brazil 7:06.1

Repechage heat 3Edit

14 August.

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Noel Duckworth   Great Britain 6:29.3 Q
2 Les MacDonald   Canada 6:33.8
3 Claude Lowenstein   France 6:36.6


Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
  Robert Moch   United States 6:25.4
  Cesare Milani   Italy 6:26.0
  Wilhelm Mahlow   Germany 6:26.4
4 Noel Duckworth   Great Britain 6:30.1
5 Ervin Kereszthy   Hungary 6:30.3
6 Rolf Spring   Switzerland 6:35.8


  1. ^ "Rowing at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games: Men's Coxed Eights". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Eight, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2021.

External linksEdit