Rowing at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's coxed four

The men's coxed four competition at the 1968 Summer Olympics took place at Virgilio Uribe Rowing and Canoeing Course, Mexico City, Mexico. It was held from 13 to 19 October and was unexpectedly won by the team from New Zealand, which secured the country its first Olympic rowing gold medal. Thirteen teams (66 competitors, with the Soviet Union making one substitution) from 13 nations attended the competition.[1] East Germany earned its first medal in its debut in the event, taking silver (the 1960 and 1964 Olympic tournaments had both been won by the United Team of Germany, with West German crews). Switzerland took bronze, its first medal in the men's coxed four since 1952.

Men's coxed four
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
Pista olímpica de remo y canotaje, Xochimilco.JPG
The venue in 2015
VenueVirgilio Uribe Rowing and Canoeing Course
Dates13–19 October
Competitors66 from 13 nations
Teams13
Winning time6:45.62
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s)  New Zealand
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  East Germany
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Switzerland
← 1964
1972 →

BackgroundEdit

This was the 13th appearance of the event. Rowing had been on the programme in 1896 but was cancelled due to bad weather. The coxed four was one of the four initial events introduced in 1900. It was not held in 1904 or 1908, but was held at every Games from 1912 to 1992 when it (along with the men's coxed pair) was replaced with the men's lightweight double sculls and men's lightweight coxless four.[2]

At the 1964 Summer Olympics, the men's coxed four event was won by the United Team of Germany. It was the last appearance of the German United Team. The 1962 World Rowing Championships had been won by the team from West Germany, and the 1966 World Rowing Championships had been won by East Germany. The West Germans had come second at the 1965 European Rowing Championships. The crew from the Soviet Union also belonged to the group of favourites, as they had won the last three European Rowing Championships and gained silver at the 1966 World Rowing Championships. A further medal contender was Italy, who had several previous Olympians in their boat.[1] The New Zealand team had originally been selected as four rowers and a cox as a backup to the country's eight that had qualified. They started training together in Christchurch on the Avon River and gained the impression that they had the potential to win a medal as a coxed four. There were stern discussions with the New Zealand selectors but in the end, the rowers got their way and were put forward as a team of their own.[3]

Mexico made its debut in the event; East and West Germany competed separately for the first time. The United States made its 11th appearance, most among nations to that point.

Competition formatEdit

The coxed four event featured five-person boats, with four 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 competition used the 2000 metres distance that became standard at the 1912 Olympics and which has been used ever since except at the 1948 Games.[4]

The 1964 tournament introduced the "B" final, a consolation final that ranked rowers that had not qualified for the main, or "A", final. Races were held in up to six lanes.[5] This rowing competition consisted of three main rounds (quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals), as well as a repechage round that allowed teams that did not win their quarterfinal heats to advance to the semifinals. Only one boat was eliminated in the first two rounds, with 12 of 13 advancing to the semifinals.

  • Quarterfinals: Three heats, 4 or 5 boats per heat. The top three boats in each heat (9 boats) advanced directly to the semifinals; other boats (4 boats) went to the repechage.
  • Repechage: One heat, 4 or 5 boats per heat. The top three boats advanced to the semifinal; the last-place boat was eliminated.
  • Semifinals: Two heats, 6 boats per heat. The top three boats in each heat (6 boats total) advanced to Final A; the remaining boats (6 total) went to Final B.
  • Finals: Two finals. Final A awarded the medals and 4th through 6th places; Final B was a consolation final for 7th through 12th place.

ScheduleEdit

All times are Central Standard Time (UTC-6)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 13 October 1968 9:00 Quarterfinals
Tuesday, 15 October 1968 9:00 Repechage
Thursday, 17 October 1968 10:00 Semifinals
Friday, 18 October 1968 11:00 Final B
Saturday, 19 October 1968 11:00 Final A

ResultsEdit

QuarterfinalsEdit

Three heats were rowed on 13 October; these were the first three rowing races of the 1968 Summer Olympics.[5] Two of the heats had four teams and one had five teams, with the first three teams to qualify for the semi-finals, and the remaining teams progressing to the repechage.[6]

Quarterfinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Dieter Semetzky   East Germany 7:03.60 Q
2 Otto Weekhout   Netherlands 7:08.15 Q
3 Viktor Mikheyev   Soviet Union 7:10.18 Q
4 Rolando Locatelli   Argentina 7:11.52 R
5 Rafael Velasco   Mexico 7:51.39 R

Quarterfinal 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Simon Dickie   New Zealand 7:12.19 Q
2 Ladislau Lovrenschi   Romania 7:16.50 Q
3 John Hartigan   United States 7:21.39 Q
4 Roberto Ojeda   Cuba 7:41.11 R

Quarterfinal 3Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Mariano Gottifredi   Italy 7:08.60 Q
2 Gottlieb Fröhlich   Switzerland 7:10.39 Q
3 Stefan Armbruster   West Germany 7:12.04 Q
4 Roger Jouy   France 7:13.47 R

RepechageEdit

One heat was rowed in the repechage on 15 October.[5] Of the four teams competing, the first three would progress to the semi-finals. The team from the host nation was eliminated in the repechage.[7]

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Rolando Locatelli   Argentina 6:55.55 Q
2 Roger Jouy   France 7:05.48 Q
3 Roberto Ojeda   Cuba 7:13.43 Q
4 Rafael Velasco   Mexico 7:36.29

SemifinalsEdit

Two heats were rowed in the semi-finals on 17 October.[8] Of the six teams competing per heat, the first three would qualify for the final, while the others would progress to the small final.[9]

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Simon Dickie   New Zealand 6:48.65 QA
2 John Hartigan   United States 6:54.22 QA
3 Mariano Gottifredi   Italy 6:58.24 QA
4 Rolando Locatelli   Argentina 7:02.25 QB
5 Stefan Armbruster   West Germany 7:06.45 QB
6 Otto Weekhout   Netherlands 7:08.68 QB

Semifinal 2Edit

The team from the Soviet Union replaced one of their rowers in this heat, and swapped some seats. Arkady Kudinov rowed in this heat only.[8]

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Dieter Semetzky   East Germany 6:46.23 QA
2 Viktor Mikheyev   Soviet Union 6:48.16 QA
3 Gottlieb Fröhlich   Switzerland 6:48.54 QA
4 Ladislau Lovrenschi   Romania 6:52.67 QB
5 Roger Jouy   France 7:14.05 QB
6 Roberto Ojeda   Cuba 7:26.62 QB

FinalsEdit

Final BEdit

The small final (now termed B final) was raced on 18 October.[10]

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
7 Ladislau Lovrenschi   Romania 6:46.68
8 Rolando Locatelli   Argentina 6:50.54
9 Otto Weekhout   Netherlands 6:51.77
10 Roger Jouy   France 6:52.86
11 Roberto Ojeda   Cuba 7:07.07
12 Stefan Armbruster   West Germany DNS

Final AEdit

The final (now termed A final) was raced on 19 October.[10] The New Zealand team unexpectedly beat the team from East Germany by over two seconds. In another surprise, the Swiss boat overtook the Italians for the bronze medal position. The win secured New Zealand its first Olympic rowing gold, and its third Olympic rowing medal in total.[1] The Olympic competition was the first time that the team had raced together.[3] The medals were presented by IOC vice-president Konstantin Adrianow.[11]

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
  Simon Dickie   New Zealand 6:45.62
  Dieter Semetzky   East Germany 6:48.20
  Gottlieb Fröhlich   Switzerland 6:49.04
4 Mariano Gottifredi   Italy 6:49.54
5 John Hartigan   United States 6:51.41
6 Viktor Mikheyev   Soviet Union 7:00.00

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Coxed Fours, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Famed New Zealand Olympic rower Dudley Storey dies". Stuff. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Official Report of the Organising Committee 1969, p. 541.
  6. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Round One". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  7. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Round One Repêchage". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b Official Report of the Organising Committee 1969, pp. 541f.
  9. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Rowing at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours Semi-Finals". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  10. ^ a b Official Report of the Organising Committee 1969, p. 542.
  11. ^ Official Report of the Organising Committee 1969, p. 129.

ReferencesEdit

  • Alvarez, José Rogelio (1969). The Official Report of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XIX Olympiad Mexico 1968: Volume III part 1 (PDF). Mexico City, Mexico: Organizing Committee of the Games of the XIX Olympiad.