Rowing at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's single sculls

The men's single sculls competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was held between 9 and 16 August, at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park.[1] There were 32 competitors from 32 nations.[2] The event was won by Olaf Tufte of Norway, the fifth man to successfully defend an Olympic title in the event (and 12th to win multiple medals of any colour). The silver medal went to Ondřej Synek of the Czech Republic, the nation's first medal in the event (though Czech rower Václav Chalupa had earned silver in 1992 for Czechoslovakia). Mahé Drysdale of New Zealand earned bronze. Both Synek and Drysdale would go on to win medals in the event again in 2012 and 2016 (with Drysdale the gold medallist both times).

Men's single sculls
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
2008. Stamp of Belarus 17-2008-08-11-m.jpg
Belarus stamp commemorating rowing at the 2008 Summer Olympics
VenueShunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park
Dates9–16 August
Competitors32 from 32 nations
Winning time6:59.83
1st place, gold medalist(s) Olaf Tufte
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Ondřej Synek
 Czech Republic
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Mahé Drysdale
 New Zealand
← 2004
2012 →


This was the 25th 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]

Eight of the 18 A/B/C semifinalists from the 2004 Games returned: gold medallist Olaf Tufte of Norway, fourth-place finisher Santiago Fernández of Argentina, sixth-place finisher Tim Maeyens of Belgium, seventh-place finisher (and 2000 bronze medallist) Marcel Hacker of Germany, eighth-place finisher André Vonarburg of Switzerland, thirteenth-place finisher (who had taken the same place in 2000) Anderson Nocetti of Brazil, fourteenth-place finisher (and 1996 and 2000 competitor) Ali Ibrahim of Egypt, and eighteenth-place finisher Law Hiu Fung of Hong Kong. Tufte, despite being defending champion, was not the favorite; that was Mahé Drysdale of New Zealand, who had won all three World Championships since the 2008 Games (Tufte had a silver and a bronze in that time). Other contenders included Hacker, trying to come back from a disappointing Final B performance in 2004; Ondřej Synek of the Czech Republic, with a silver and two bronze medals in the last three Worlds; Fernández, the reigning Pan American champion, and Alan Campbell of Great Britain, the Diamond Challenge Sculls winner in 2007.[2]

Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Iran, Lithuania, Monaco, and Venezuela each made their debut in the event. Great Britain and the United States each made their 20th appearance, tied for most among nations.


Nations had been limited to one boat (one rower) each since 1912. The 33 qualifiers were:

  • 11 boats from the 2007 World Championships
  • 6 boats from the Asian Qualification Regatta
  • 4 boats from the 2007 All-Africa Games
  • 6 boats from the Latin American Qualification Regatta
  • 4 boats from the Final Qualification Regatta
  • 2 invitational boats

Competition formatEdit

This rowing event is a single scull event, meaning that each boat is propelled by a single rower. The "scull" portion means that the rower uses two oars, one on each side of the boat; this contrasts with sweep rowing in which each rower has one oar and rows on only one side (not feasible for singles events). The competition consists of multiple rounds. The format continued to use four rounds, as in previous Games, but instead of three main rounds and a repechage, all four rounds were main rounds: there was no repechage. Finals were held to determine the placing of each boat; these finals were given letters with those nearer to the beginning of the alphabet meaning a better ranking. Semifinals were named based on which finals they fed, with each semifinal having two possible finals. The course used the 2000 metres distance that became the Olympic standard in 1912.[3]

During the first round six heats were held. The top four boats in each heat advanced to the quarterfinals, while all others were relegated to the E/F semifinals.

The quarterfinals were the second round for rowers still competing for medals. Placing in the quarterfinal heats determined which semifinal the boat would race in. The top three boats in each quarterfinal moved on to the A/B semifinals, with the bottom three boats going to the C/D semifinals.

Six semifinals were held, two each of A/B semifinals, C/D semifinals, and E/F semifinals. For each semifinal race, the top three boats moved on to the better of the two finals, while the bottom three boats went to the lesser of the two finals possible. For example, a second-place finish in an A/B semifinal would result in advancement to the A final.

The fourth and final round was the finals. Each final determined a set of rankings. The A final determined the medals, along with the rest of the places through 6th. The B final gave rankings from 7th to 12th, the C from 13th to 18th, and so on. Thus, to win a medal rowers had to finish in the top four of their heat, top three of their quarterfinal, and top three of their A/B semifinal to reach the A final.


All times are China Standard Time (UTC+8)

Date Time Round
Saturday, 9 August 2008 14:50 Heats
Monday, 11 August 2008 16:10
Semifinals E/F
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 15:10
Semifinals C/D
Semifinals A/B
Final F
Friday, 15 August 2008 14:20
Final E
Final D
Final C
Final B
Saturday, 16 August 2008 15:50 Final A



The top four in each heat advanced to the quarterfinals, remaining in medal contention. Fifth and sixth placed boats went to the E/F semifinals, eligible for ranking between 25 and 32.

Heat 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Tim Maeyens   Belgium 7:16.60 Q
2 André Vonarburg   Switzerland 7:26.21 Q
3 Ioannis Christou   Greece 7:29.86 Q
4 Santiago Fernández   Argentina 7:38.87 Q
5 Mohsen Shadi   Iran 7:48.24 QEF
6 Matthew Lidaywa Mwange   Kenya 8:16.09 QEF

Heat 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Mahé Drysdale   New Zealand 7:28.80 Q
2 Anderson Nocetti   Brazil 7:35.52 Q
3 Oscar Vasquez   Chile 7:39.58 Q
4 Andrei Jämsä   Estonia 7:48.24 Q
5 Dhison Hernández   Venezuela 7:54.52 QEF
Zhang Liang   China DNS

Heat 3Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Lassi Karonen   Sweden 7:14.64 Q
2 Marcel Hacker   Germany 7:26.71 Q
3 Law Hiu Fung   Hong Kong 7:45.96 Q
4 Leandro Salvagno   Uruguay 7:52.53 Q
5 Paul Etia Ndoumbe   Cameroon 7:59.26 QEF
6 Norberto Bernárdez Ávila   Honduras 9:01.27 QEF

Heat 4Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Ondřej Synek   Czech Republic 7:23.94 Q
2 Mindaugas Griskonis   Lithuania 7:28.05 Q
3 Bajrang Lal Takhar   India 7:39.91 Q
4 Mathias Raymond   Monaco 7:51.69 Q
5 Chaouki Dries   Algeria 7:57.65 QEF

Heat 5Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Alan Campbell   Great Britain 7:14.98 Q
2 Peter Hardcastle   Australia 7:17.74 Q
3 Patrick Loliger   Mexico 7:22.55 Q
4 Ken Jurkowski   United States 7:25.13 Q
5 Ruslan Naurzaliev   Uzbekistan 7:58.43 QEF

Heat 6Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Olaf Tufte   Norway 7:20.20 Q
2 Sjoerd Hamburger   Netherlands 7:27.05 Q
3 Ali Ibrahim   Egypt 7:43.70 Q
4 Wang Ming-Hui   Chinese Taipei 7:46.83 Q
5 Rodrigo Ideus   Colombia 7:56.85 QEF


The top three boats in each quarterfinal went to the A/B semifinals, still in contention for medals and guaranteed to be in the top 12. Fourth through sixth place boats went to the C/D semifinals, ultimately ranked 13th through 24th.

Quarterfinal 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Marcel Hacker   Germany 6:48.85 QAB
2 Alan Campbell   Great Britain 6:52.74 QAB
3 André Vonarburg   Switzerland 7:02.29 QAB
4 Oscar Vasquez   Chile 7:06.61 QCD
5 Mathias Raymond   Monaco 7:11.66 QCD
6 Ali Ibrahim   Egypt 7:24.77 QCD

Quarterfinal 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Olaf Tufte   Norway 6:53.59 QAB
2 Mindaugas Griskonis   Lithuania 6:54.47 QAB
3 Ioannis Christou   Greece 6:58.28 QAB
4 Patrick Loliger   Mexico 7:04.30 QCD
5 Anderson Nocetti   Brazil 7:23.68 QCD
6 Leandro Salvagno   Uruguay 7:26.85 QCD

Quarterfinal 3Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Ondřej Synek   Czech Republic 6:50.23 QAB
2 Tim Maeyens   Belgium 6:52.70 QAB
3 Peter Hardcastle   Australia 7:00.09 QAB
4 Andrei Jämsä   Estonia 7:05.48 QCD
5 Wang Ming-Hui   Chinese Taipei 7:17.08 QCD
6 Law Hiu Fung   Hong Kong 7:29.21 QCD

Quarterfinal 4Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Mahé Drysdale   New Zealand 6:50.18 QAB
2 Lassi Karonen   Sweden 6:50.40 QAB
3 Ken Jurkowski   United States 6:53.26 QAB
4 Sjoerd Hamburger   Netherlands 6:57.24 QCD
5 Bajrang Lal Takhar   India 7:19.01 QCD
6 Santiago Fernández   Argentina 7:27.60 QCD


The top three boats in each semifinal went to the better final, while the fourth through sixth placed boats went to the lower final.

Semifinal E/F 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Mohsen Shadi   Iran 7:20.34 QE
2 Rodrigo Ideus   Colombia 7:29.71 QE
3 Ruslan Naurzaliev   Uzbekistan 7:35.12 QE
4 Norberto Bernárdez Ávila   Honduras 8:29.65 QF

Semifinal E/F 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Dhison Alexander Hernandez   Venezuela 7:18.85 QE
2 Paul Etia Ndoumbe   Cameroon 7:29.68 QE
3 Chaouki Dries   Algeria 7:34.84 QE
4 Matthew Lidaywa Mwange   Kenya 7:49.17 QF

Semifinal C/D 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Patrick Loliger   Mexico 7:15.53 QC
2 Oscar Vasquez   Chile 7:17.17 QC
3 Ali Ibrahim   Egypt 7:20.73 QC
4 Bajrang Lal Takhar   India 7:23.00 QD
5 Wang Ming-Hui   Chinese Taipei 7:23.75 QD
6 Law Hiu Fung   Hong Kong 7:32.61 QD

Semifinals C/D 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Sjoerd Hamburger   Netherlands 7:10.06 QC
2 Andrei Jämsä   Estonia 7:16.38 QC
3 Anderson Nocetti   Brazil 7:18.78 QC
4 Leandro Salvagno   Uruguay 7:32.83 QD
5 Mathias Raymond   Monaco 7:33.06 QD
Santiago Fernández   Argentina DNS

Semifinal A/B 1Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Lassi Karonen   Sweden 6:57.28 QA
2 Olaf Tufte   Norway 6:58.23 QA
3 Tim Maeyens   Belgium 6:59.65 QA
4 Marcel Hacker   Germany 7:03.05 QB
5 André Vonarburg   Switzerland 7:14.64 QB
6 Peter Hardcastle   Australia 7:32.79 QB

Semifinal A/B 2Edit

Rank Rower Nation Time Notes
1 Ondřej Synek   Czech Republic 7:03.57 QA
2 Alan Campbell   Great Britain 7:05.24 QA
3 Mahé Drysdale   New Zealand 7:05.57 QA
4 Ioannis Christou   Greece 7:06.02 QB
5 Ken Jurkowski   United States 7:11.52 QB
6 Mindaugas Griskonis   Lithuania 7:20.32 QB


Final FEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
30 Matthew Lidaywa Mwange   Kenya 7:52.59
31 Norberto Bernárdez Ávila   Honduras 8:32.22

Final EEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
24 Dhison Alexander Hernandez   Venezuela 7:05.12
25 Mohsen Shadi   Iran 7:06.54
26 Ruslan Naurzaliev   Uzbekistan 7:09.98
27 Rodrgio Ideus   Colombia 7:18.61
28 Paul Etia Ndoumbe   Cameroon 7:21.34
29 Chaouki Dries   Algeria 7:32.82

Final DEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
19 Leandro Salvagno   Uruguay 7:04.13
20 Law Hiu Fung   Hong Kong 7:06.17
21 Bajrang Lal Takhar   India 7:09.73
22 Mathias Raymond   Monaco 7:14.27
23 Wang Ming-Hui   Chinese Taipei 7:16.28

Final CEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
13 Sjoerd Hamburger   Netherlands 6:58.71
14 Anderson Nocetti   Brazil 7:01.54
15 Patrick Loliger   Mexico 7:03.97
16 Oscar Vasquez   Chile 7:07.02
17 Andrei Jämsä   Estonia 7:19.60
18 Ali Ibrahim   Egypt 7:26.06

Final BEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
7 Marcel Hacker   Germany 7:07.82
8 Mindaugas Griskonis   Lithuania 7:09.23
9 André Vonarburg   Switzerland 7:13.07
10 Ioannis Christou   Greece 7:17.74
11 Ken Jurkowski   United States 7:22.75
12 Peter Hardcastle   Australia 7:27.34

Final AEdit

Rank Rower Nation Time
  Olaf Tufte   Norway 6:59.83
  Ondřej Synek   Czech Republic 7:00.63
  Mahé Drysdale   New Zealand 7:01.56
4 Tim Maeyens   Belgium 7:03.40
5 Alan Campbell   Great Britain 7:04.47
6 Lassi Karonen   Sweden 7:07.64

Results summaryEdit

Rank Rower Nation Heats Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Olaf Tufte   Norway 7:20.20 6:53.59 6:58.23
Semifinals A/B
Final A
  Ondřej Synek   Czech Republic 7:23.94 6:50.23 7:03.57
Semifinals A/B
Final A
  Mahé Drysdale   New Zealand 7:28.80 6:50.18 7:05.57
Semifinals A/B
Final A
4 Tim Maeyens   Belgium 7:16.60 6:52.70 6:59.65
Semifinals A/B
Final A
5 Alan Campbell   Great Britain 7:14.98 6:52.74 7:05.24
Semifinals A/B
Final A
6 Lassi Karonen   Sweden 7:14.64 6:50.40 6:57.28
Semifinals A/B
Final A
7 Marcel Hacker   Germany 7:26.71 6:48.85 7:03.05
Semifinals A/B
Final B
8 Mindaugas Griskonis   Lithuania 7:28.05 6:54.47 7:20.32
Semifinals A/B
Final B
9 André Vonarburg   Switzerland 7:26.21 7:02.29 7:14.64
Semifinals A/B
Final B
10 Ioannis Christou   Greece 7:29.86 6:58.28 7:06.02
Semifinals A/B
Final B
11 Ken Jurkowski   United States 7:25.13 6:53.26 7:11.52
Semifinals A/B
Final B
12 Peter Hardcastle   Australia 7:17.74 7:00.09 7:32.79
Semifinals A/B
Final B
13 Sjoerd Hamburger   Netherlands 7:27.05 6:57.24 7:10.06
Semifinals C/D
Final C
14 Anderson Nocetti   Brazil 7:35.52 7:23.68 7:18.78
Semifinals C/D
Final C
15 Patrick Loliger   Mexico 7:22.55 7:04.30 7:15.53
Semifinals C/D
Final C
16 Oscar Vasquez   Chile 7:39.58 7:06.61 7:17.17
Semifinals C/D
Final C
17 Andrei Jämsä   Estonia 7:48.24 7:05.48 7:16.38
Semifinals C/D
Final C
18 Ali Ibrahim   Egypt 7:43.70 7:24.77 7:20.73
Semifinals C/D
Final C
19 Leandro Salvagno   Uruguay 7:52.53 7:26.85 7:32.83
Semifinals C/D
Final D
20 Law Hiu Fung   Hong Kong 7:45.96 7:29.21 7:32.61
Semifinals C/D
Final D
21 Bajrang Lal Takhar   India 7:39.91 7:19.01 7:23.00
Semifinals C/D
Final D
22 Mathias Raymond   Monaco 7:51.69 7:11.66 7:33.06
Semifinals C/D
Final D
23 Wang Ming-Hui   Chinese Taipei 7:46.83 7:17.08 7:23.75
Semifinals C/D
Final D
24 Dhison Alexander Hernandez   Venezuela 7:54.52 Bye 7:18.85
Semifinals E/F
Final E
25 Mohsen Shadi   Iran 7:48.24 Bye 7:20.34
Semifinals E/F
Final E
26 Ruslan Naurzaliev   Uzbekistan 7:58.43 Bye 7:35.12
Semifinals E/F
Final E
27 Rodrgio Ideus   Colombia 7:56.85 Bye 7:29.71
Semifinals E/F
Final E
28 Paul Etia Ndoumbe   Cameroon 7:59.26 Bye 7:29.68
Semifinals E/F
Final E
29 Chaouki Dries   Algeria 7:57.65 Bye 7:34.84
Semifinals E/F
Final E
30 Matthew Lidaywa Mwange   Kenya 8:16.09 Bye 7:49.17
Semifinals E/F
Final F
31 Norberto Bernárdez Ávila   Honduras 9:01.27 Bye 8:29.65
Semifinals E/F
Final F
32 Santiago Fernández   Argentina 7:38.87 7:27.60 DNS
Semifinals C/D
Did not advance
Zhang Liang   China DNS Did not advance


  1. ^ "Rowing at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games: Men's Single Sculls". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Single Sculls, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2021.

External linksEdit