Rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's eight

The men's eight competition was one of six events for male competitors in Rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.[1] It was held from 15 to 22 August.[2] There were 9 boats (81 competitors) from 9 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event. The event was won by the United States, the nation's first victory in the men's eight since 1964 and 12th overall. The Netherlands took silver. Australia, the reigning silver medalist, finished with bronze this time.

Men's eight
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre 3.JPG
Schinias venue
VenueSchinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre
Dates15–22 August
Competitors81 from 9 nations
Winning time5:42.48
1st place, gold medalist(s)  United States
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Netherlands
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Australia
← 2000
2008 →


This was the 24th 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 field was competitive. Canada was favoured, with wins at the 2002 and 2003 World Championships as well as Grand Challenge Cup victories in those years. But there were numerous strong contenders, including the United States (2003 Pan American champions, 2003 World runners-up), Romania (2001 World champions), Great Britain (defending Olympic champions), and the Netherlands (2004 Grand Challenge Cup winners).[2]

No nations made their debut in the event. The United States made its 21st appearance, 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 (with the exception of 1948).[3] Races were held in up to six lanes.

The competition consisted of two main rounds (semifinals and finals) as well as a repechage.

  • Semifinals: Two heats of four or five boats each. The top boat in each heat (2 boats total) advanced directly to the "A" final, while all other boats (7 total) went to the repechage.
  • Repechage: Two heats of three or four boats each. The top two boats in each heat (4 boats total) rejoined the semifinal winners in the "A" final, with the 3rd and 4th place boats in each heat (3 boats total) eliminated from medal contention and competing in the "B" final.
  • Finals: The "A" final consisted of the top six boats, awarding medals and 4th through 6th place. The "B" final featured the next three boats, ranking them 7th through 9th.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 15 August 2004 10:29 Semifinals
Wednesday, 18 August 2004 11:20 Repechage
Saturday, 21 August 2004 12:00 Final B
Sunday, 22 August 2004 10:30 Final A



Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Michael Toon   Australia 5:23.23 QA
2 Chun Wei Cheung   Netherlands 5:25.26 R
3 Peter Thiede   Germany 5:27.72 R
4 Christophe Lattaignant   France 5:29.55 R
5 Daniel Trojanowski   Poland 5:30.08 R

Semifinal 2Edit

The second heat of the men's eight was a particularly intense match as the United States pulled ahead of Canada (undefeated since 2001) in the last 500 metres. The Canadian eight was a favourite for the gold, whereas the American eight had never before been tried internationally. Both boats beat the world's best time for the men's eight, and the United States advances directly to the finals while Canada went to the repechage.

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Peter Cipollone   United States 5:19.85 QA, OB
2 Brian Price   Canada 5:20.46 R
3 Gaetano Iannuzzi   Italy 5:30.16 R
4 Christian Cormack   Great Britain 5:32.26 R


Repechage heat 1Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Chun Wei Cheung   Netherlands 5:31.92 QA
2 Christophe Lattaignant   France 5:34.20 QA
3 Gaetano Iannuzzi   Italy 5:34.56 QB

Repechage heat 2Edit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Brian Price   Canada 5:32.51 QA
2 Peter Thiede   Germany 5:33.07 QA
3 Christian Cormack   Great Britain 5:34.37 QB
4 Daniel Trojanowski   Poland 5:36.75 QB


Final BEdit

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
7 Gaetano Iannuzzi   Italy 5:49.43
8 Daniel Trojanowski   Poland 5:51.66
9 Christian Cormack   Great Britain 5:53.31

Final AEdit

The United States established an early lead. By the 1000 meter mark (halfway), they had a three-second advantage (one length) over Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands who were all battling for second place. In the final 1000 meters, the Netherlands made a run at the United States, finishing 1.3 seconds short. Australia maintained its position three seconds behind the United States while Germany and Canada fell off the pace and France trailed in sixth place. The fifth-place finish was a major disappointment for Canada, the two-time defending World Champions.

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
  Peter Cipollone   United States 5:42.48
  Chun Wei Cheung   Netherlands 5:43.75
  Michael Toon   Australia 5:45.38
4 Peter Thiede   Germany 5:49.43
5 Brian Price   Canada 5:51.66
6 Christophe Lattaignant   France 5:53.31


  1. ^ "Rowing at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Men's Coxed Eights". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Eight, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2021.

External linksEdit