Womens' Quadruple Scull (W4X)
2004 Athens Olympic Games
August 14-22, 2004
Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre
The IOC announced that Olena Olefirenko, Ukraine, tested positive for Ethamivan, a prohibited stimulant, after placing third in the Women's quadruple sculls event. The Ukraine crew was disqualified from this event and their bronze medals withdrawn.
Australia's gold medalist from last year face a daunting challenge from a bolstered German quad that seems to know nothing but gold. Germany has made big moves to improve on her uncharacteristic 3rd place in 2003. Boron of Germany has forsaken her 2nd place finish in last year's double sculls and adds her history of 11 gold medals to this year's quad for Germany. Not to be overlooked is Belarus with two changes to her boat. Russia's biggest medal hope for these Games rests with her quad, 3rd last year, but her 2004 fortunes are difficult to assess due to Russia's significant makeover line-up with 3 of the 4 seats changing this year. Great Britain's 4th place quad from last year returns intact hoping to pass the reconstituted quad from Belarus for bronze or better.
Final A Pre-Race Analysis
Australia's defending gold medalists from last year have run third in both their heat behind Germany and Estonia, and their Repechage behind Russia and the Ukraine, and do not appear likely to repeat for the Gold medal in Athens. The favorites for the gold now look like Germany and Great Britain, with the edge to Germany for the following reasons. Great Britain and Germany's splits for the first three 500 meter intervals in their respective heats (which each won) were always within virtually a second or less of each other. So do not expect big moves by either against the other until they pass the 1000 meter mark. Though Great Britain's 1500 meter time in her heat is faster than Germany's, Russia was pressing Great Britain (in fact led Great Britain at the first 500 meter interval mark), and Germany led wire to wire in its heat, and enjoyed a comfortable 2.5 second lead over the USA at the halfway mark. That, couple with Germany's addition of Boron to the German quad this year gives a slight edge to Germany for the gold, with a silver for Great Britain. The scramble will then be on for the bronze between Russia, Ukraine, Australia and the United States. In their repechage, all racing each other, they finished in that order, but the first three (RUS, UKR and AUS) finished within 1.5 seconds of each other, but give the nod to Russia which led in that repechage race wire to wire.
Previews and other commentary are © Copyright 2004. Kent Mitchell. All rights reserved.
(UKR was disqualified in Final A)
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