Rowing at the 1988 Summer Olympics – Men's coxed four

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Men's coxed four
at the Games of the XXIV Olympiad
Rowing at the 1988 Summer Olympics.JPEG
The final
VenueMisari Regatta
Date19–24 September
Competitors71 from 14 nations
Winning time6:10.74
1st place, gold medalist(s)  East Germany
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Romania
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  New Zealand
← 1984
1992 →

The men's coxed four competition at the 1988 Summer Olympics took place at Misari Regatta, South Korea.[1] It was held from 19 to 24 September.[2] There were 14 boats (71 competitors, with Romania making one substitution) from 14 nations, with each nation limited to a single boat in the event.[2] The event was won by East Germany, returning to the top of the podium after the Soviet-led boycott in 1984 prevented the East Germans from defending their 1980 Olympic title. Silver went to Romania, its first medal in the men's coxed four. New Zealand took a second consecutive bronze medal in the event.


This was the 18th 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]

East Germany was dominant in the men's coxed four, winning 7 of the last 9 World Championships (and placing second and third in the other two) as well as winning the 1980 Olympics; a boycott was seemingly the only way to keep the East Germans off the podium, as had happened at the 1984 Games. With their return to Olympic competition in 1988, they were heavily favoured. Great Britain, the defending Olympic champion from a reduced field, was a potential challenger. The Soviet Union, New Zealand, Italy, and the United States had medaled at the last two World Championships and were also outside contenders.[2]

South Korea made its debut in the event, the first nation to do so since 1976. The United States made its 15th appearance, most of any nation to that point.

Competition format

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.[3]

The competition consisted of three main rounds (quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals) as well as a repechage. The 14 boats were divided into three heats for the quarterfinals, with 4 or 5 boats in each heat. The top three boats in each heat (9 boats total) advanced directly to the semifinals. The remaining 5 boats were placed in the repechage. The repechage featured a single heat, with the top three boats advancing to the semifinals and the remaining 2 boats (4th and 5th placers in the repechage) being eliminated (13th and 14th place overall). The 12 semifinalist boats were divided into two heats of 6 boats each. The top three boats in each semifinal (6 boats total) advanced to the "A" final to compete for medals and 4th through 6th place; the bottom three boats in each semifinal were sent to the "B" final for 7th through 12th.[4]


All times are Korea Standard Time adjusted for daylight savings (UTC+10)

Date Time Round
Monday, 19 September 1988 10:25 Quarterfinals
Wednesday, 21 September 1988 10:20 Repechage
Thursday, 22 September 1988 15:00 Semifinals
Friday, 23 September 1988 9:42 Final B
Saturday, 24 September 1988 10:50 Final A



Quarterfinal 1

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Hendrik Reiher  East Germany 6:00.75 Q
2 Martin Ruppel  West Germany 6:02.98 Q
3 Andrew Bird  New Zealand 6:03.35 Q
4 Dino Lucchetta  Italy 6:06.09 R
5 Vaughan Thomas  Great Britain 6:20.89 R

Quarterfinal 2

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Mark Zembsch  United States 6:08.36 Q
2 Oldřich Hejdušek  Czechoslovakia 6:11.25 Q
3 Dario Varga  Yugoslavia 6:12.33 Q
4 Javier Viñolas  Spain 6:14.69 R
5 Terry Paul  Canada 6:15.21 R

Quarterfinal 3

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Marin Gheorghe  Romania 6:10.26 Q
2 Sergey Titov  Soviet Union 6:16.53 Q
3 Martin Honegger  Switzerland 6:27.52 Q
4 Park Seong-nae  South Korea 6:57.99 R


Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Vaughan Thomas  Great Britain 6:31.11 Q
2 Dino Lucchetta  Italy 6:32.14 Q
3 Terry Paul  Canada 6:33.05 Q
4 Javier Viñolas  Spain 6:34.36
5 Park Seong-nae  South Korea 7:19.22


Semifinal 1

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Hendrik Reiher  East Germany 6:07.91 QA
2 Marin Gheorghe  Romania 6:09.86 QA
3 Andrew Bird  New Zealand 6:10.41 QA
4 Dino Lucchetta  Italy 6:15.93 QB
5 Oldřich Hejdušek  Czechoslovakia 6:20.42 QB
6 Martin Honegger  Switzerland 7:55.92 QB

Semifinal 2

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time Notes
1 Vaughan Thomas  Great Britain 6:15.22 QA
2 Mark Zembsch  United States 6:15.30 QA
3 Dario Varga  Yugoslavia 6:15.72 QA
4 Martin Ruppel  West Germany 6:15.87 QB
5 Sergey Titov  Soviet Union 6:16.69 QB
6 Terry Paul  Canada 6:17.36 QB


Final B

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
7 Martin Ruppel  West Germany 6:42.65
8 Oldřich Hejdušek  Czechoslovakia 6:43.64
9 Terry Paul  Canada 6:44.95
10 Dino Lucchetta  Italy 6:45.39
Martin Honegger  Switzerland DNS
Sergey Titov  Soviet Union DNS

Final A

Rank Rowers Coxswain Nation Time
1st place, gold medalist(s) Hendrik Reiher  East Germany 6:10.74
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Ladislau Lovrenschi  Romania 6:13.58
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Andrew Bird  New Zealand 6:15.78
4 Vaughan Thomas  Great Britain 6:18.08
5 Mark Zembsch  United States 6:18.47
6 Dario Varga  Yugoslavia 6:23.28

Final classification

Rank Rowers Nation
1st place, gold medalist(s) Bernd Niesecke
Hendrik Reiher
Karsten Schmeling
Bernd Eichwurzel
Frank Klawonn
 East Germany
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Dimitrie Popescu
Ioan Snep
Vasile Tomoiagă
Ladislau Lovrenschi
Valentin Robu
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Chris White
Ian Wright
Andrew Bird
Greg Johnston
George Keys
 New Zealand
4 Adam Clift
John Maxey
John Garrett
Martin Cross
Vaughan Thomas
 Great Britain
5 John Terwilliger
Chris Huntington
Tom Darling
John Walters
Mark Zembsch
 United States
6 Sead Marušić
Lazo Pivač
Zlatko Celent
Vladimir Banjanac
Dario Varga
7 Roland Baar
Wolfgang Klapheck
Christoph Korte
Andreas Lütkefels
Martin Ruppel
 West Germany
8 Milan Doleček
Oldřich Hejdušek
Petr Hlídek
Dušan Macháček
Michal Šubrt
9 Harold Backer
John Houlding
Robert Marland
Terry Paul
Brian Saunderson
10 Giuseppe Carando
Leonardo Massa
Antonio Maurogiovanni
Giovanni Miccoli
Dino Lucchetta
11 Martin Honegger
Marcel Hotz
Bruno Saile
Günter Schneider
Jörg Weitnauer
Sigitas Kučinskas
Jonas Narmontas
Vladimir Romanishin
Sergey Titov
Igor Zotov
 Soviet Union
13 Agustín Alarcón
Baltasar Márquez
José Ramón Oyarzábal
Ibon Urbieta
Javier Viñolas
14 Jeong Jae-won
Gang Man-gu
Lee Tae-hwa
Park Seong-nae
Yang Gwang-jae
 South Korea


  1. ^ "Rowing at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games: Men's Coxed Fours". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Coxed Fours, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Do We Race 2000m? The History Behind the Distance". World Rowing. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  4. ^ Official Report, vol. 2, pp. 525–27.