Rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
|Venue||Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre|
|Competitors||557 from 55 nations|
The medals were split among 22 countries, Romania topping the medal table, their women winning 3 golds, with the traditionally strong Germany, Great Britain and Australia picking up four medals in total.
Romania's Elisabeta Lipă won her fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal and fifth overall. Lipă, who was part of Romania's women's eight, won her first in Los Angeles in 1984 followed by gold medals in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004, a record span of 20 years between her first and last gold medal. It was also her eighth overall, which is more than any other rower, having won a silver and a bronze in 1988 and an additional silver in 1992. In winning her medal at age 39, Lipă became the oldest rower to win a gold medal and the oldest athlete in an endurance sport to win a gold medal.
Matthew Pinsent also won his fourth consecutive medal, this time without legendary partner Steve Redgrave. The British men's coxless four of Steve Williams, James Cracknell, Ed Coode with Pinsent at stroke narrowly saw off the challenge of the World Champion Canadian crew of Cameron Baerg, Thomas Herschmiller, Jake Wetzel and Barney Williams. It was a dramatic stretch run with the lead literally changing hands with each stroke. (In rowing, the boat will surge depending on where the rowers are during the stroke. Pinsent would later say that he thought they had won because they were in the best part of the stroke when they crossed the line). Great Britain won with a time of 6:06.98, just 8/100ths of a second faster than the Canadians. Pinsent later wept at the medal ceremony.
Matching Lipă's and Pinsent's feat of four consecutive gold medals was German sculler Kathrin Boron in the women's quadruple sculls. She had won the doubles event in Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000 and the quadruple sculls in Atlanta 1996.
Australian James Tomkins, competing in his fifth games at the age of 39, won his third gold medal, and fourth medal overall, teaming with his longtime partner Drew Ginn in the men's pair. Tomkins and Ginn had been part of the straight four that won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and they had won the 1999 World Championship in the pair, but Ginn had missed the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a severe back injury, and Tompkins had finished third with a new partner Matthew Long in the pair. Tomkins was also the oldest male rower to win an Olympic gold medal, surpassing Steve Redgrave.
The Romanian women's pair of Georgeta Damian and Viorica Susanu took gold before doubling up to help their eight take gold, giving Damian her fourth Olympic Gold medal — having won 2 golds in Sydney in the same disciplines.
The United States won the prestigious men's eight for the twelfth time overall and the first time since 1964. In the second preliminary heat, both the U.S. and Canadian crews broke the previous world best time, with the U.S. winning in 5:19.85, which stood as a world best time until the second World Cup regatta of 2012. The United States would go on to dominate the final.
|3||Great Britain (GBR)||1||2||1||4|
|United States (USA)||1||1||0||2|
|New Zealand (NZL)||1||0||0||1|
|Czech Republic (CZE)||0||1||0||1|
|South Africa (RSA)||0||0||1||1|
|Totals (23 nations)||14||14||14||42|
- "Rowing at the 2004 Athens Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 25 September 2018.