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history of australian rowing at olympic games

Olympic Games—Seoul 1988

The regatta was conducted on a man made course near the Han River and was very good. Its skilful designers incorporated all the latest technological advances into the design and the regatta's organisation was impeccable.

Men's eight

Men's Eight

cox Dale Caterson, str Stephen Evans, 7 Ion Popa, 6 James Tomkins, 5 Mark Doyle, 4 Michael McKay, 3 Andrew Cooper, 2 Hamish McLachlan, bow James Galloway


The selections for these Games were controversial on a number of counts. Firstly the selectors deemed that there were no women's crews of sufficient standing which caused much media coverage.

Two disgruntled oarswomen raised money to race at Lucerne in the double to prove their fitness for selection. They even obtained funds from the major competitor of the major sponsor of the ARC. Their performance at Lucerne was not good enough for selection. The matter ended up in the Equal Opportunity Commission but without any action resulting.

The decision not to send women resulted in some positive outcomes. Beyond greater determination by our women rowers to never allow this to occur again and the publicity for the sport, it instituted some research to develop a pool of athletes, both men and women for future events through talent identification. Some of the people behind this work were Dr Alan Hahn from the AIS, Peter Shakespeare, Paul Thompson and Reinhold Batschi. The athletes from these programmes have been prominent in Australian teams ever since.

The second controversial issue arose from the re-selection of the eight. Richard Finlayson (NSW) and David Fogarty (VIC) were originally in the squad of ten oarsmen. The selected crew failed to meet the expectations of the selectors during a pre-Olympic tour of Europe. The eight was reselected with the recall of 1986 gold medallists Andrew Cooper (VIC) and Mark Doyle (VIC).

Hamish McGlashan

Hamish McGlashan

The men's eight was graded first and the quad second. Hamish McGlashan was selected as reserve and initially not selected to race. However he won at the Holland Bekker Regatta in Amsterdam and at Henley Royal against Andrew Sudduth of the USA, who was highly regarded. Clearly Hamish had developed strongly during the tour and was then given the opportunity to race as was the men's pair.

Finally, the coaching appointments were made in November 1997 with both Reinhold Batschi and Rusty Roberston named. Rusty Robertson subsequently withdrew thus enabling the appointment of David Yates in his stead.


The women's boats were dominated by the East Germans with 5 of 6 gold medals. The results were also interesting through the good results of the Chinese who had three finalists and two medals.

Women's Single Scull

E1: 1st USA, 2nd DEN, 3rd CAN, 4th TCH, 5th SWE
E2: 1st DDR, 2nd ROM, 3rd NED, 4th URS
E3: 1st BUL, 2nd BEL, 3rd GRE, 4th FRA
R: 1st URS, 2nd TCH, 3rd SWE, 4th FRA
SF1: 1st DDR, 2nd USA, 3rd NED, 4th CAN, 5th BEL, 6th SWE
SF2: 1st BUL, 2nd ROM, 3rd DEN, 4th URS, 5th GRE, 6th TCH
Final B: 7th GRE, 8th URS, 9th BEL, 10th CAN, 11th SWE, 12th TCH
Final: 1st DDR (Jutta Behrendt) 7:47.19, 2nd USA (Anna Marden) 7:50.28, 3rd BUL (Magdelena Gueorguieva) 7:53.65, 4th NED, 5th ROM, 6th DEN

Women's Double Scull

E1: 1st ROM, 2nd URS, 3rd SWE, 4th USA, 5th CAN
E2: 1st DDR, 2nd BUL, 3rd CHN, 4th GBR, 5th KOR
R1: 1st URS, 2nd CHN, 3rd CAN, 4th GBR
R2: 1st BUL, 2nd USA, 3rd SWE, 4th KOR
Final B: 7th CAN, 8th SWE, 9th GBR, 10th KOR
Final: 1st DDR (Birgit Peter, Martina Schroeter) 7:00.48, 2nd ROM (Elisabeta Lipa, Veronica Cogeanu) 7:04.36, 3rd BUL (Violeta Ninova, Stefka Madina) 7:06.03, 4th URS, 5th CHN, 6th USA

Women's Coxed Quad Scull

E1: 1st BUL, 2nd ROM, 3rd URS, 4th TCH, 5th FRA
E2: 1st DDR, 2nd USA, 3rd BEL, 4th NED, 5th HUN
R1: 1st ROM, 2nd BEL, 3rd NED, 4th FRA
R2: 1st URS, 2nd TCH, 3rd USA, 4tf HUN
Final B: 7th NED, 8th HUN, 9th USA, 10th FRA
Final: 1st DDR 6:21.06, 2nd URS 6:23.47, 3rd ROM 6:23.81, 4th BUL, 5th TCH, 6th BEL

Women's Coxless Pair

E1: DDR, 2nd NZL, 3rd USA, 4th URS, 5th KOR
E2: 1st ROM, 2nd BUL, 3rd CAN, 4th GBR, 5th FRG
R1: 1st NZL, 2nd URS, 3rd CAN, 4th FRG
R2: 1st BUL, 2nd USA, 3rd GBR, 4th KOR
Final B: 7th CAN, 8th GBR, 9th FRG, 10th KOR
Final: 1st ROM (Rodica Arba, Olga Homeghi) 7:28.13, 2nd BUL (Radka Stoyanova, Lalka Berberova) 7:31.95, 3rd NZL (Nicola Payne, Lynley Hannen) 7:35.68, 4th DDR, 5th URS, 6th USA

Women's Coxed Four

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd BUL, 3rd CHN, 4th CAN, 5th KOR
E2: 1st ROM, 2nd URS, 3rd POL, 4th USA, 5th GBR
R1: 1st BUL, 2nd GBR 3rd CAN, 4th POL
R2: 1st CHN, 2nd USA, 3rd URS, 4th KOR
Final B: 7th CAN, 8th POL, 9th URS, 10th KOR
Final: 1st DDR 6:56.00, 2nd CHN 6:58.78, 3rd ROM 7:01.13, 4th BUL, 5th USA, 6th GBR

Women's Eight

E1: 1st ROM, 2nd DDR. 3rd FRG, 4th BUL
E2: 1st URS, 2nd CHN, 3rd USA
R: 1st DDR, 2nd BUL, 3rd CHN, 4th USA, 5th FRG
Final: 1st DDR 6:15.17, 2nd ROM, 3rd CHN 6:21.83, 4th URS, 5th BUL, 6th USA

Hamish McGlashan at Henley

Men's Single Scull at Henley Royal Regatta

Hamish McGlashan winning

Men's Quad Scull at Henley

Men's Quad Scull at Henley Royal Regatta

str Peter Antonie, 3 Paul Reedy, 2 Brenton Terrell and bow Richard Powell

Men's Coxless Pair

Men's Coxless Pair

str Sam Patten and bow Malcolm Batten

Men's Coxless Pair

Men's Coxless Pair

str Sam Patten and bow Malcolm Batten

Australian Team

Men's Single Scull – Fourth

  • Hamish McGlashan (VIC)

Men's Quad Scull – Fifth

  • Bow: Richard Powell (QLD)
  • 2: Brenton Terrell (SA)
  • 3: Paul Reedy (VIC)
  • Str: Peter Antonie (VIC)
  • Cch: David Yates (VIC)

Men's Coxless Pair – Eliminated in repechage

  • Reserves for the eight
  • Bow: Malcolm Batten (QLD)
  • Str: Sam Patten (VIC)

Men's Eight – Fifth

  • Bow: James Galloway (NSW)
  • 2: Hamish McLachlan (SA)
  • 3: Andrew Cooper (VIC)
  • 4: Michael McKay (VIC)
  • 5: Mark Doyle (VIC)
  • 6: James Tomkins (VIC)
  • 7: Ion Popa (VIC)
  • Str: Stephen Evans (NSW)
  • Cox: Dale Caterson (NSW)
  • Cch: Reinhold Batschi (ACT)

Head Coach: Reinhold Batschi OAM (AIS)
Manager: Stephen Hinchy (QLD)
Selectors: William Hay (SA), Don Croot (NSW), Simon Gillett (VIC)
Medical: Dr Bill Webb
Jury: John St Vincent Welch


Men's Single Scull

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd USA, 3rd FRG, 4th POL, 5th NED, 6th PUR
E2: 1st AUS, 2nd URU, 3rd URS, 4th JPN, 5th CAN, 6th PHI
E3: 1st NZL, 2nd FRA, 3rd BEL, 4th ITA, 5th BRA
E4: 1st SWE, 2nd FIN, 3rd AUT, 4th KOR, 5th KUW
R1: 1st FIN, 2nd NED, 3rd BEL, 4th JPN
R2: 1st URS, 2nd POL, 3rd FRA, 4th KUW
R3: 1st FRG, 2nd URU, 3rd BRA, 4th KOR, 5th PHI
R4: 1st USA, 2nd ITA, 3rd AUT, 4th PUR, 5th CAN
SF1: 1st DDR, 2nd ITA, 3rd NZL, 4th URU, 5th NED, 6th URS
SF2: 1st FRG, 2nd AUS, 3rd POL, 4th SWE, 5th ITA, 6th FIN
Final: 1st DDR (Thomas Lange) 6:49.86, 2nd FRG (Peter Michael-Kolbe) 6:54.77, 3rd NZL (Eric Verdonk) 6:58.66, 4th AUS, 5th POL, 6th USA

Hamish McGlashan had won his heat and finished second to the silver medallist in the semi final, however Thomas Lange and Peter-Michael Kolbe were a class above the rest of the field. With the great Pertti Karpinnen failing to make the final and the fancied American failing to meet expectations, the opportunity for a bronze medal opened up but Hamish was narrowly defeated by Eric Verdonk of NZL.

Karpinnen was awarded a FISA medal of honour for his three time Olympic Championships and exemplary attitude during a long and exceptional career. Peter-Michael Kolbe again failed to achieve his aim of an Olympic Championship.

Men's Double Scull

E1: 1st URS, 2nd NOR, 3rd ESP, 4th CAN, 5th CHI, 6th USA
E2: 1st DEN, 2nd DDR, 3rd BUL, 4th FIN, 5th MEX, 6th AUT
E3: 1st NED, 2nd FRG, 3rd ITA, 4th FIN, 5th GRE
R1: 1st DDR, 2nd FIN, 3rd ESP, 4th MEX, 5th USA
R2: 1st SUI, 2nd NOR, 3rd ITA, 4th CHI
R3: 1st FRG, 2nd BUL, 3rd CAN, 4th GRE, 5th AUT
SF1: 1st URS, 2nd FRG, 3rd DEN, 4th NOR, 5th CAN, 6th FIN
SF2: 1st DDR, 2nd NED, 3rd SUI, 4th BUL, 5th ITA, 6th ESP
Final B: 7th ESP, 8th BUL, 9th ITA, 10th CAN, 11th NOR, 12th FIN
Final: 1st NED (Ronald Florijn, Nicholas Rienks) 6:21.13, 2nd SUI (Beat Schwerzmann, Ueli Bodermann) 6:22.59, 3rd URS (Alexander Martchenko, Vasily Yakusha) 6:22.87, 4th FRG, 5th DDR, 6th DEN

Men's Quad Scull

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd AUS, 3rd HUN, 4th POL, 5th USA
E2: 1st ITA, 2nd URS, 3rd FRG, 4th TCH
E3: 1st NOR, 2nd NED, 3rd CAN, 4th ARG
R: 1st TCH, 2nd POL, 3rd ARG, 4th USA
SF1: 1st ITA, 2nd DDR, 3rd FRG, 4th NED, 5th ARG, 6th HUN
SF1: 1st NOR, 2nd URS, 3rd AUS, 4th TCH, 5th POL, 6th CAN
Final B: 7th POL, 8th NED, 9th CAN, 10th HUN, 11th TCH, 12th ARG
Final: 1st ITA 5:53.37, 2nd NOR 5:55.08, 3rd DDR 5:56.13, 4th URS, 5th AUS, 6th FRG

After winning the 1986 World Championship for lightweight single sculls, this event marked Peter Antonie's first appearance in open rowing. Australia had had very little success in sculling events since 1984, so that in a high class field, it was pleasing that our crew performed well to finish fifth.

Alf Hansen, who was approaching his 40th birthday, picked up another silver to add to his significant medal tally: he won his first World Championship medal in 1970 and was Olympic Champion in 1976.

Australian Men's Quad Scull

Australian Men's Quad Scull

str Peter Antonie, 3 Paul Reedy, 2 Brenton Terrell and bow Richard Powell

Men's Coxless Pair

E1: 1st ROM, 2nd BEL, 3rd USA, 4th URS, 5th BRA, 6th CAN
E2: 1st YUG, 2nd DDR, 3rd FRA, 4th AUS, 5th FIN, 6th JPN
E3: 1st GBR, 2nd FRG, 3rd AUT, 4th ESP, 5th ARG, 6th NOR
R1: 1st DDR, 2nd FIN, 3rd USA, 4th ESP, 5th CAN
R2: 1st BEL, 2nd AUT, 3rd BRA, 4th AUS, 5th NOR
R3: 1st FRG, 2nd FRA, 3rd URS, 4th ARG, 5th JPN
SF1: 1st ROM, 2nd YUG, 3rd URS, 4th FRG, 5th AUT, 6th FIN
SF2: 1st GBR, 2nd BEL, 3rd DDR, 4th FRA, 5th USA, 6th GRA
Final B: 7th FRG, 8th FRA, 9th USA, 10th BRA, 11th FIN, 12th AUT
Final: 1st GBR (Andrew Holmes, Stephen Redgrave) 6:36.84, 2nd ROM (Dragos Neagu, Danut Dobre) 6:38.06, 3rd YUG (Bojan Presern, Sadik Mujkic) 6:41.01, 4th BEL, 5th DDR, 6th URS

This was another Olympic Championship for Sir Stephen Redgrave.

Men's Coxed Pair

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd BUL, 3rd NZL, 4th CAN, 5th BRA
E2: 1st URS, 2nd YUG, 3rd USA, 4th POL, 5th IRL
E3: 1st ITA, 2nd GBR, 3rd ROM, 4th TCH
R; 1st TCH, 2nd POL, 3rd CAN, 4th BRA, 5th IRL
SF1: 1st ITA, 2nd DDR, 3rd ROM, 4th YUG, 5th POL, 6th NZL
SF2: 1st BUL, 2nd GBR, 3rd URS, 4th TCH, 5th CAN, 6th USA
Final B: 7th TCH, 8th YUG, 9th POL, 10th CAN, 11th USA
Final: 1st ITA (Carmine Abbegnale, Guiseppe Abbegnale, Giuseppe di Capua), 2nd DDR 7:00.63, 3rd GBR (Andrew Holmes, Stephen Redgrave, Adrian Ellison) 7:01.95, 4th ROM, 5th BUL, 6th URS

The Abbagnale brothers won their second Olympic Championship with di Capua again in the coxswain's seat. Regrave and Holmes, who were champions in the coxless pair at this regatta, won bronze in this event.

Men's Coxless Four

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd ITA, 3rd URS, 4th SWE, 5th GRE
E2; 1st USA, 2nd NZL, 3rd FRG, 4th CAN, 5th ESP
E3: 1st GBR, 2nd FRA, 3rd NED, 4th BRA, 5th KOR
R; 1st SWE, 2nd CAN, 3rd GRE, 4th ESP, 5th BRA, 6th KOR
SF1: 1st DDR, 2nd URS, 3rd GBR, 4th NZL, 5th NED, 6th CAN
SF2: 1st FRG, 2nd ITA, 3rd USA, 4th FRA, 5th SWE, 6th GRE
Final B: 7th NZL, 8th FRA, 9th NED, 10th SWE, 11th CAN, 12th GRE
Final: 1st DDR 6:03.11, 2nd USA 6:05.53, 3rd FRG 6:06.22, 4th GBR, 5th ITA, 6th URS

Men's Coxed Four

E1: 1st DDR, 2nd FRG, 3rd NZL, 4th ITA, 5th GBR
E2; 1st USA, 2nd TCH, 3rd YUG, 4th ESP, 5th CAN
E3: 1st ROM, 2nd URS, 3rd SUI, 4th KOR
R: 1st GBR, 2nd ITA, 3rd CAN, 4th ESP, 5th KOR
Final B: 7th FRG, 8th TCH, 9th CAN, 10th CAN – URS & SUI scratched
Final: 1st DDR 6:10.74, 2nd ROM 6:13.58, 3rd NZL 6:15.78, 4th GBR, 5th USA, 6th YUG

Men's Eight

E1: 1st URS, 2nd CAN, 3rd GBR, 4th ITA, 5th KOR
E2: 1st FRG, 2nd AUS, 3rd USA, 4th BUL, 5th JPN
R1: 1st USA, 2nd CAN, 3rd ITA, 4th JPN
R2: 1st GBR, 2nd AUS, 3rd BUL, 4th KOR
Final B: 7th ITA, 8th BUL, 9th JPN, 10th KOR
Final: 1st FRG 5:46.05, 2nd URS 6:13.58, 3rd USA 6:15.78, 4th GBR, 5th AUS, 6th CAN

The Australians had a fair heat row but were disappointed in the repechage which left them in an outside lane. The Australians wanted better but it was a disrupted preparation with the reselection of the crew and accompanying controversy. The final was delayed for 25 minutes to enable repairs to the West German eight. The other crews waited patiently for the repair which showed the spirit in which the race was rowed. It is unlikely that a delay of that magnitude would be tolerated today.

West German eight

West German eight earlier in the season

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