Rowing at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's single sculls

The men's single sculls competition at the 1968 Summer Olympics took place at Virgilio Uribe Rowing and Canoeing Course, Mexico. The event was held from 15 to 19 October.[1] There were 17 competitors from 17 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event.[2] The event was won by Jan Wienese of the Netherlands, with Jochen Meißner of West Germany taking silver and Alberto Demiddi of Argentina earning bronze. It was the first medal in men's single sculls for each of the three nations. The Soviet Union's four-Games winning streak in the event ended; three-time champion Vyacheslav Ivanov was left off the team in favor of Viktor Melnikov; Melnikov finished fourth in his semifinal and did not reach the main final.

Men's single sculls
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
Jan Wienese 1967.jpg
Gold medalist Jan Wienese (1967)
VenueVirgilio Uribe Rowing and Canoeing Course
Date15–19 October
Competitors17 from 17 nations
Winning time7:45.48
1st place, gold medalist(s) Jan Wienese
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Jochen Meißner
 West Germany
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Alberto Demiddi
← 1964
1972 →


This was the 15th appearance of the event. Rowing had been on the programme in 1896 but was cancelled due to bad weather. The single sculls has been held every time that rowing has been contested, beginning in 1900.[2]

Three of the 13 single scullers from the 1964 Games returned: two-time silver medalist Achim Hill of the United Team of Germany (now competing for East Germany), fourth-place finisher Alberto Demiddi of Argentina, and twelfth-place finisher Vaclav Kozak of Czechoslovakia. The field was unusually open with many top-flight scullers absent. The Soviet Union sent Viktor Melnikov rather than three-time reigning gold medalist Vyacheslav Ivanov. The United States had John Van Blom rather than reigning World Champion Donald Spero. Great Britain was represented by Kenny Dwan instead of reigning Diamond Challenge Sculls winner Hugh Wardell-Yerburgh. The most accomplished competitors present were Hill and Demiddi (who had also won the Pan American Games). Roger Jackson of Canada and Kozak were Olympic champions, but in other events (1964 coxless pairs for Jackson, 1960 double sculls for Kozak).[2]

Cuba and Romania each made their debut in the event; East and West Germany competed separately for the first time. Great Britain made its 13th appearance, most among nations, after missing only its second edition of the event in 1964.

Competition formatEdit

This rowing event was a single scull event, meaning that each boat was propelled by a single rower. The "scull" portion means that the rower used two oars, one on each side of the boat. The course used the 2000 metres distance that became the Olympic standard in 1912.[3]

The tournament, with more rowers than the previous few Games, expanded back to four rounds: three main rounds and a repechage. The competition continued to use the six-boat heat standardised in 1960 as well as the "B" final for ranking 7th through 12th place introduced in 1964.

  • Quarterfinals: Three heats of 5 or 6 boats each. The top two boats in each heat (6 total) advanced directly to the semifinals. The remaining boats (11 total) went to the repechage.
  • Repechage: Two heats of 5 or 6 boats each (though a nonstarter meant one heat had only 4). The top three boats of each heat (6 total) rejoined the quarterfinal winners in the semifinals. The other boats (5 total, including the nonstarter) were eliminated.
  • Semifinals: Two heats of 6 boats each. The top three boats in each heat (6 total) advanced to Final A, the remaining boats (6 total) went to Final B.
  • Final: Two finals. Final A consisted of the top 6 boats. Final B was intended to place boats 7 through 12, though only 5 boats started.


All times are Central Standard Time (UTC-6)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 13 October 1968 10:30 Quarterfinals
Tuesday, 15 October 1968 9:45 Repechage
Thursday, 17 October 1968 11:30 Semifinals
Friday, 18 October 1968 18:10 Final B
Saturday, 19 October 1968 19:08 Final A



The first two rowers in each heat advanced directly to the semifinals. The others competed again in the repechage for the remaining six spots in the semifinals.

Quarterfinal 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Jochen Meißner   West Germany 7:45.80 Q
2 Alberto Demiddi   Argentina 7:49.78 Q
3 Manfred Krausbar   Austria 7:55.70 R
4 Vaclav Kozak   Czechoslovakia 7:59.93 R
5 Zdzislaw Bromek   Poland 8:06.61 R
6 Tsugio Ito   Japan 8:10.00 R

Quarterfinal 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Niels Henry Secher   Denmark 7:51.45 Q
2 Roger Jackson   Canada 7:55.88 Q
3 Viktor Melnikov   Soviet Union 8:03.29 R
4 Eugen Petrache   Romania 8:05.33 R
5 Hans Ruckstuhl   Switzerland 8:08.90 R
6 Heriberto Martínez   Cuba 8:14.20 R

Quarterfinal 3Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Jan Wienese   Netherlands 7:44.92 Q
2 Achim Hill   East Germany 7:47.23 Q
3 John Van Blom   United States 7:54.79 R
4 Kenny Dwan   Great Britain 8:03.95 R
5 Claude Dehombreux   Belgium 8:19.41 R


The three fastest rowers from each repechage heat advanced to the semifinals.

Repechage heat 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 John van Blom   United States 7:43.00 Q
2 Manfred Krausbar   Austria 7:46.65 Q
3 Zdzislaw Bromek   Poland 7:48.68 Q
4 Claude Dehombreux   Belgium 7:54.98
5 Eugen Petrache   Romania 8:02.94
6 Heriberto Martinez   Cuba 8:20.92

Repechage heat 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Kenny Dwan   Great Britain 7:41.98 Q
2 Victor Melnikov   Soviet Union 7:46.86 Q
3 Vaclav Kozak   Czechoslovakia 7:49.93 Q
4 Tsugio Ito   Japan 7:58.08
Hans Ruckstuhl   Switzerland DNS


The first three rowers from each semifinal advanced to Final A, while the rest advanced to Final B.

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Achim Hill   East Germany 7:48.56 QA
2 Jochen Meißner   West Germany 7:51.26 QA
3 Kenny Dwan   Great Britain 7:55.90 QA
4 Vaclav Kozak   Czechoslovakia 8:01.81 QB
5 Niels Henry Secher   Denmark 8:17.64 QB
6 Manfred Krausbar   Austria 8:19.41 QB

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Jan Wienese   Netherlands 7:45.48 QA
2 Alberto Demiddi   Argentina 7:47.98 QA
3 John van Blom   United States 7:49.85 QA
4 Victor Melnikov   Soviet Union 7:50.30 QB
5 Roger Jackson   Canada 8:10.64 QB
6 Zdzislaw Bromek   Poland 8:13.92 QB


Final A was for the top six rowers, who still had a chance to get the medals. Final B was used to determine the 7th until 12th place of this rowing event.

Final BEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
7 Zdzislaw Bromek   Poland 7:38.88
8 Niels Henry Secher   Denmark 7:43.47
9 Vaclav Kozak   Czechoslovakia 7:45.81
10 Manfred Krausbar   Austria 7:46.19
11 Roger Jackson   Canada 7:48.05
Victor Melnikov   Soviet Union DNS

Final AEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
  Jan Wienese   Netherlands 7:45.48
  Jochen Meißner   West Germany 7:47.98
  Alberto Demiddi   Argentina 7:49.85
4 John van Blom   United States 7:50.30
5 Achim Hill   East Germany 8:10.64
6 Kenny Dwan   Great Britain 8:13.92

Results summaryEdit

Rank Rower Nation Quarterfinals Repechage Semifinals Finals
  Jan Wienese   Netherlands 7:44.92 Bye 7:45.48 7:45.48
Final A
  Jochen Meißner   West Germany 7:45.80 Bye 7:51.26 7:47.98
Final A
  Alberto Demiddi   Argentina 7:49.78 Bye 7:47.98 7:49.85
Final A
4 John van Blom   United States 7:54.79 7:43.00 7:49.85 7:50.30
Final A
5 Achim Hill   East Germany 7:47.23 Bye 7:48.56 8:10.64
Final A
6 Kenny Dwan   Great Britain 8:03.95 7:41.98 7:55.90 8:13.92
Final A
7 Zdzislaw Bromek   Poland 8:06.61 7:48.68 8:13.92 7:38.88
Final B
8 Niels Henry Secher   Denmark 7:51.45 Bye 8:17.64 7:43.47
Final B
9 Vaclav Kozak   Czechoslovakia 7:59.93 7:49.93 8:01.81 7:45.81
Final B
10 Manfred Krausbar   Austria 7:55.70 7:46.65 8:19.41 7:46.19
Final B
11 Roger Jackson   Canada 7:55.88 Bye 8:10.64 7:48.05
Final B
12 Victor Melnikov   Soviet Union 8:03.29 7:46.86 7:50.30 DNS
Final B
13 Claude Dehombreux   Belgium 8:19.41 7:54.98 Did not advance
14 Tsugio Ito   Japan 8:10.00 7:58.08
15 Eugen Petrache   Romania 8:05.33 8:02.94
16 Heriberto Martinez   Cuba 8:14.20 8:20.92
17 Hans Ruckstuhl   Switzerland 8:08.90 DNS


  1. ^ "Rowing at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games: Men's Single Sculls". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Single Sculls, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2021.