Olympic organisations

TOKYO 2020

The IOC announced the following program for Tokyo 2020:




Sculler Hannes Obreno goes to Rio!

Hannes Obreno and his coach Dirk Crois may go to Rio in August to participate at the Olympic Games 2016. Hannes became cleverly 4th in the A-final! 


ProudMemberOfTeamBelgium Rio H RGB

click on image left for the summary of all results

click on image right for the detailed results 1XM

click on image below for the finalresultsRIOho



fisamediaFor immediate release
Rio de Janeiro, 6 August 2016

The first day of racing at the Rio 2016 Olympic rowing regatta has been completed at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rowers competing in eight boat classes got the regatta under way with the men's single sculls starting the day. Olympic Champion from New Zealand, Mahe Drysdale recorded the fastest qualifying time of the 32 nations that made up the men's single sculls. Cuba's Angel Fournier Rodriguez had the next fastest time.

The women's single sculls also had 32 countries competing and Mexico's Kenia Lechuga Alanis was the surprise winner of her heat when she beat World Champion Kimberly Brennan of Australia. Lechuga also recorded the fastest time of all of the boats to move on to the quarterfinals.

Favourites in the men's double sculls Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia and favourites in the men's pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray of New Zealand had relatively comfortable wins. While 2013 World Champions, Lithuania's Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite proved to be the fastest boat in the women's double sculls.

Weather conditions proved to be tough through the middle part of the 2000m race with rowers having to contend with wind gusts causing rough water. This was especially problematic for Serbia's men's pair who flipped their boat with 500m left to row. A FISA executive committee decision ruled that Serbia would be granted permission to race in the repechage and therefore keep their racing hopes alive.

FISA President, Jean-Christophe Rolland confirmed that water conditions were considered rowable. “We look at three important factors: safety, fairness and ‘rowability’. Today, we determined that the athletes were not in danger out on the course, the conditions were considered to be the same across the six lanes, and it was rowable, meaning boats were not sinking."

Weather forecasts predict that conditions are not likely to get better over the next four days.  "We will continue to use these three factors to determine how racing will continue. As of now, there is no change to the schedule. These tough conditions will test the skill of the athletes,” said Rolland.

The Olympic rowing regatta moves to repechages and further heats for Sunday's racing of this eight-day regatta. Finals begin on Wednesday 10 August.

To view results, here
To view entries and start lists, 
For feature stories, live blog, daily race reports and photo gallery go to 


Youth Olympic Games (YOG)
The Youth Olympic Games is held every four years with the inaugural event taking place in Singapore in 2010. Four boat classes are raced - the men's and women's single sculls and the men's and women's pair. A total of 96 athletes can compete with qualification regattas and a country quota system used to determine the athletes that can participate. The main qualification regatta is the World Rowing Junior Championships that take place in the year before the YOG. There are also continental qualification regattas for Asia, Africa and Latin America.
To row at the YOG athletes must be 17 or 18 years old.


results - click on the image




VAN ZANDWEGHE Niels - BTR - 1996 J2,  24 participants:



Niels = 11° in total

heats 17/8 (heat 3-11.00h: TUN/CAN/ALG/FRA/BEL/SRI), only the winner of the heat is qualified for de semi finals A/B the others row the repechages!

below the opening ceremony and the jury (with Gwenda Stevens and Patrick Rombaut):






 IOC president Thomas Bach came to Nanjing and test the ergometer 

 Olympic Games
The Olympic Games happens every four years and includes rowing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sets a quota of 550 athletes competing in the 14 boat classes. This quota means that the World Rowing Federation carries out qualification regattas. The main qualification regatta is the World Rowing Championships that is held in the year prior to the Olympic Games. There is also continental qualification regattas for Africa, Asia/Oceania, Latin America and European. A final qualification regatta is held about three months before the Olympic Games.
The Olympic regatta follows a progression system of heats through to finals and is held over eight days in the first week of the Olympic Games.


Below a list of the various Olympic Summer Games, in which ' rowing ' appears:

Youth Olympic Games) (bron = en.wikipedia.org)

In 2010, the Olympic Games were complemented by the Youth Games, which give athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 the chance to compete. The Youth Olympic Games were conceived by IOC president Jacques Rogge in 2001 and approved during the 119th Congress of the IOC. The first Summer Youth Games were held in Singapore from 14–26 August 2010. These Games will be shorter than the senior Games; the summer version will last twelve days. The IOC allows 3,500 athletes and 875 officials to participate at the Summer Youth Games. The sports to be contested will coincide with those scheduled for the senior Games, however there will be variations on the sports including mixed NOC and mixed gender teams as well as a reduced number of disciplines and events.

The first Youth Olympic Games (Summer) in Singapore 2010 yog2010c

Events: 1X boys; 1X girls; 2- boys and 2- girls.

Rowing took place on the Marina Reservoir between 15–18 August. The races were in straight line over 1000m.

For Belgium participated 1 girls and 1 boy:

Jean-Benoît Valschaerts: 14th in 1X JM (2nd in C-final in 3.35.95), after 3.28.79 in the heats, 3.35.50 in the reps and 3.46.62 in the semi-finals;

Eveline Peleman: 16th in 1X JW (4th in C-final in 4.12.33), after 3.57.23 in the heats, 4.08.69 in the reps and 4.16.25 in the semi-finals.


Buenos Aires is the host city of the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018!


The Olympic Games (summer)


pdcIn 1890, after attending the Olympian Games of the Wenlock Olympian Society, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was inspired to found the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Coubertin built on the ideas and work of Brookes and Zappas with the aim of establishing internationally rotating Olympic Games that would occur every four years. He presented these ideas during the first Olympic Congress of the newly created International Olympic Committee. This meeting was held from 16 to 23 June 1894, at the University of Paris. On the last day of the Congress, it was decided that the first Olympic Games, to come under the auspices of the IOC, would take place in Athens in 1896. The IOC elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president. The first Games held under the auspices of the IOC was hosted in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens in 1896. The Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events. Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas had left the Greek government a trust to fund future Olympic Games. This trust was used to help finance the 1896 Games. George Averoff contributed generously for the refurbishment of the stadium in preparation for the Games. The Greek government also provided funding, which was expected to be recouped through the sale of tickets and from the sale of the first Olympic commemorative stamp set. Greek officials and the public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting an Olympic Games. This feeling was shared by many of the athletes, who even demanded that Athens be the permanent Olympic host city. The IOC intended for subsequent Games to be rotated to various host cities around the world. The second Olympics was held in Paris.

After the success of the 1896 Games, the Olympics entered a period of stagnation that threatened their survival. The Olympic Games held at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and the World's fair at St. Louis in 1904 were side-shows. The Games at Paris did not have a stadium; but was notable for being the first time women took part in the Games. When the St. Louis Games were celebrated roughly 650 athletes participated, but 580 were from the United States. The homogeneous nature of these celebrations was a low point for the Olympic Movement. The Games rebounded when the 1906 Intercalated Games (so-called because they were the second Games held within the third Olympiad) were held in Athens. These Games are not officially recognized by the IOC and no Intercalated Games have been held since. The Games attracted a broad international field of participants and generated great public interest. This marked the beginning of a rise in both the popularity and the size of the Olympics.




Belgian Olympic rowers


The spelling of names before 1940 is uncertain because multiple versions were used together. Often the name wasn't even mentioned or only with the first letter. A very difficult point was the identification of the coxswains. Before 1940 they were almost never mentioned. After a huge effort we managed to find them all, except for the cox of the eight of 1928 (although a homogeneous team of La Meuse). The name of the association is that of where the rower had his license that year. If the association still exists the actual
name is mentioned.

Athens 1896 (eventually cancelled!)

Already at the first modern Olympic Games, those of Athens in 1896, there were rowing competitions.
Rowing is thus part of the ten sports which were Olympic from the beginning.
The rowing regattas (1x, 2x and 4+) were held in the bay of Zea over 2.000 metres
in four lanes, only for men (women had to wait another 80 years). Due to
continuous bad weather and high sea the races were however cancelled! Anyway
there was no Belgian participation (just as in other disciplines).

Paris 1900 (8 participating countries)

At the Games of Paris in 1900 there were rowing competitions in 1x, 2+, 4+ and 8+ on a 1.750 metre lane on the Seine in Courbevoie. The participants were not really
national teams but club teams representing their countries. The only Belgian
team competing was Club Gent, who won the silver medal in 8+. There were also
junior competitions (with i.a. gold for Union Nautique Brussel in 8+), though
these competitions weren't recognized by the IOC.

8+ : 5 participants - silver: Prosper Bruggeman (Club Gent), Maurice Hemelsoet (ditto),
Marcel Van Crombrugghe (ditto), Oscar Desomville (ditto), Oscar De Cock (ditto),
Maurice Verdonck (ditto), Frank Odberg (ditto), Jules De Bisschop (ditto), cox
Rodolphe Poma (ditto)

Saint-Louis 1904 (2 participating countries) - no Belgian participation

The Games of 1904 were held in St-Louis, with rowing competitions at Lake Crève-Coeur in 1x, 2x, 4- and 8+ over a distance of 2 miles (3.218 metres). Because all
participants were American, with the exception of one Canadian crew, the IOC
eventually decided not to recognize these competitions.

London 1908 (9 participating countries)

The Games of 1908 were held in London, so obviously rowing was held on the holy water of Henley-on-Thames over a distance of 1,5 miles (2.413 metres). Traditionally races there are rowed two by two according to the knock-out system. The losers of the
semi-finals didn't row against each other so officially there was no bronze medal. In the tables the best loser however was ranked third.

It was remarkable that also the second didn't receive a medal. The gold was,
after all, for the rowers of the winning team and the silver for the coxswain.
They rowed in 1x, 2+, 4- and 8+. Nine countries participated and could each
enter two teams. Belgium participated in single scull with Joseph Hermans of
CRB, who couldn't pass the qualifiers, and in 8+ with a crew of Club Gent,
which, as in Paris, earned second place. Oscar Desomville and Rodolphe Poma
were the only rowers who were also part of the crew in 1900. It should be noted
that an effort was made, supported by the king's Cabinet, following Henley 1906
and 1907, to send a mixed crew Club-Sport, which failed. Perhaps then there
would have been gold ...

1x : 9 participants
- Joseph Hermans (CR Brussel) 9th in the qualifiers

8+ : 7 participants
- silver. Rodolphe Poma (Club Gent), Oscar Desomville (ditto), Polydore Veirman
(ditto), François Vergucht (ditto), Georges Mys (ditto), Henri Orban (ditto),
Marcel Morimont (ditto), Oscar Taelman (ditto), cox Alfred Van Landegem (ditto)

Stockholm 1912 (14 participating countries)

During the Games in Stockholm in 1912 the rowing competitions were held in
Djurgärdsbrunnviken over 2.000 metre, which became the Olympic distance from
then on. There were races in 1x, 4+, 8+ and (for a single time) 4+ without
riggers. Fourteen countries participated with Belgians in single scull and the
coxed four. Polydore Veirman of Club Gent won silver in single scull. The 4+
was of Sport Gent with Guillaume Visser, Georges Vanden Bossche, Edmond Van
Waes, Georges Willems and coxswain Neytens, who fell in the second round.

1x : 14 participants
- silver: Polydore Veirman (Club Gent)

4+ : 12 participants
- 2nd round: Guillaume Visser (Sport Gent), Georges Vanden Bossche (ditto),
Edmond Van Waes (ditto), Georges Willems (ditto), cox Neytens (ditto)

Antwerp 1920 (14 participating countries)

The 1920 Olympic Games were held in Antwerp, but because there was no suitable race course (the Albert channel was not yet dug) the competitions were held on the
Brussels channel at Marly opposite the club houses of Royal Sport Nautique de
Bruxelles and Union Nautique de Bruxelles. The disciplines were now 1x, 2+, 2x,
4+ and 8+, with fourteen competing countries. Belgium took part in each race,
each time with a homogeneous club team. In single scull that was Jacques Haller
of Club Gent. Sport Gent delivered the coxed pair with brothers Oscar and
Georges Vandenbossche and coxswain René Van Damme. In double scull a crew of
RSN Bruxelles competed, in coxed four Club Gent and in eight CR Bruxelles.
Although it was a home game for the Belgians and they took part in each
competition, none of the crews made it through the qualifiers.

1x : 10 participants
- qualifier: Jacques Haller (Club Gent)

2+ : 6 participants
- qualifier: Georges Vanden Bossche (Sport Gent), Oscar Vanden Bossche (ditto),
cox René Van Damme (ditto)

2x : 7 participants
- qualifier: Ernest Sazawka (RSN Brussel), Georges Léonet (ditto)

4+ : 9 participants
- qualifier: Jean Van Silfhout (Club Gent), Léon Vleurinck (ditto), Adrien D'Hondt
(ditto), Robert Demulder (ditto), stm Raphael de Ligne (ditto)

8+ : 8 participants
- qualifier: Daniel Clarembaux (CR Brussel), Joseph Hermans (ditto), Gustave De
Mulder (ditto), René Smet (ditto), Felix Taeymans (ditto), Charles Lalemand (ditto),
Julien Crickx (ditto), Maurice Requilé (ditto), cox Joseph Crickx (ditto)

Paris 1924 (16 participating countries)

The 1924 Olympic Games were held in Paris again, but the rowing competitions were held in Argenteuil and challenged over four lanes. The rowers were delegated from
sixteen countries. There were 7 disciplines such as: 1x, 2-, 2+, 2x, 4-, 4+ and
8+, which would remain as such until the 1972 Olympics. Belgians took part in
each of the three competitions with coxed boats, but none of them made it to
the final. However they worked with mixed crews for the first time. The coxed
four existed from rowers of Meuse and of UN Luik, the eight from Club and Sport
Gent. The coxed pair was homogeneous of Sport Gent with Eugène Grabriëls and
Alphonse De Wette and cox Maurice Delplancke.

2+ : 5 participants
- qualifier: Eugène Gabriels (Sport Gent), Alphonse De Wette (ditto), cox Maurice Delpancke (ditto)

4+ : 10 participants
- qualifier: Marcel Roman (Meuse), Jules George (UN Luik), Victor Denis (Meuse),
Lucien Brouha (UN Luik), stm. Georges Anthony (Meuse),

8+ : 10 participants
- qualifier: Robert Swartelé (Sport Gent), R De Landsheer (Club Gent), Gerard
De Gezelle (Club Gent), Albert Geinger (Sport Gent), Jean Van Silfhout (Club
Gent), Hippolyte Schouppe (Sport Gent), Léon Lippens (Sport Gent), A d'Anvers
(Club Gent), cox Sauvage (Club Gent)

Amsterdam 1928 (21 participating countries)

On the Olympic Games of 1928 in Amsterdam the rowing competitions were held on the Ringvaart near Sloten with only two lanes, so the knock-out system of Henley
was used. Now there were contests held to award the bronze medal. The number of
competing countries increased to 21. The Belgians were there in all disciplines
except the coxless four, so there were 22 Belgian athletes for 6 teams, the
biggest delegation ever. The crews were again homogeneous club crews. Bronze
was achieved in 2+ of Union Nautique Brussel with Léon Flament, François De
Coninck and coxswain Georges Anthony. The second best result was for a crew of
Sport Gent in coxed four with Jean Bauwens, Theo Wambeke, Alphonse De Wette,
Charles Van Son and coxswain Maurice Delplancke, which ended fifth (on eleven participants).
The others didn't survive the qualifiers, namely the single sculler of Meuse,
the pair oar of CRB, the double scull of KRB and the eight of Meuse.

1x : 16 participants
- qualifier: G Mottard (Meuse)

2- : 8 participants -
qualifier: P Van Volckxsom (CR Brussel), C Van den Driessche (ditto)

2+ : 6
participants - bronze : Léon Flament (UN
Brussel), François De Coninck (ditto), cox Georges Anthony (ditto)

2x : 10 participants
- qualifier: Achille Mengé (KR Brugge), André Houppelyne (ditto)

4+ : 11 participants
- 3rd round: Jean Bauwens (Sport Gent), Theo Wambeke (ditto),
Alphonse De Wette (ditto), Charles Van Son (ditto), cox Maurice Deplancke (ditto)

8+ : 6 participants
- qualifier: Marcel Roman (Meuse), R Macors (ditto), Victor Denis (ditto), P
Jacques (ditto), A Lemaire (ditto), J Crousse (ditto), J Jonlet (ditto), Lambrecht
(ditto), cox ??

Los Angeles 1932 (13 participating countries)

At the Olympic Games of Los Angeles in 1932 the rowing events were held at the newly
built race course of Long Beach. The competitions were held on four lanes.
There were no Belgian participants.

Berlin 1936 (23 participating countries)

At the Olympic Games of Berlin in 1936 rowing took place at the race course of Grünau, with, for the first time, six race lanes. The Belgians were there in 2- with
Antwerp rowers Thissen and Van Herck and in 4+ with the legendary big boys René
Vingerhoet, Paul Siebels, Willy Collet, Jean de Rode and coxswain Henri
Peeters, then member of Vilvoorde, later of Royal. Both crews went out in the

2- : 13 participants - qualifier: Frans Thissen
(SRN Antwerpen), Edmond Van Herck (ditto)

4+ : 16 participants
- qualifier: René Vingerhoet (Vilvoorde), Paul Siebels (ditto), Willy Collet (ditto),
Jean de Rode (ditto), cox Henri Peeters (ditto)

London 1948 (26 participating countries)

During the Olympic Games of London in 1948 rowing took place at Henley again, the only venue thus far which hosted the Olympic rowing events twice. There were three
lanes now. For the first time the lanes were marked with buoys. Belgians took
part in 2- (Van Antwerpen and Rosa) and 2x (Ben Piessens and Willy Collet, twelve
years after Berlin), but they didn't reach the finals.

2- : 12 participants
- qualifier: Charles Van Antwerpen (RSN Antwerpen), José Rosa (ditto)

2x : 12 participants
- semi-finals: Ben Piessens (Antwerpse RV), Willy Collet (RSN Brussel)

Helsinki 1952 (31 participating countries)

At the Games of Helsinki in 1952 rowing took place in Meilhati, where there were 5
lanes. Thirty-one countries participated. In no less than 5 disciplines (1x,
2+, 2-, 2x and 4-) Belgians came at the start, with 12 athletes of which 10
from Antwerp. One crew, the coxless pair with Michel Knuysen and Robert (Bob)
Baetens (both of Antwerp Sculling - now ARV), didn't only reach the final but
also won the silver medal. Their club mates Jacobs and Mattelé with coxswain
Van Dooren reached the semi-finals. The other three crews reached the second
round. Until now, the best collective result on an Olympiad.

1x : 18 participants
- 2nd round: Henri Steenacker (Oostende)

2- : 16 participants
- silver. Michel Knuysen (Antwerpse RV), Robert Baeten (ditto)

2+ : 15 participants
- semi-finals: Eugène Jacobs (Antwerpse RV), Hyppolite Mattelé (ditto), cox
Camiel Van Dooren (ditto)

2x : 16 participants
- 2nd round: Jos Van Stichel (Antwerpse RV), Robert George (UN Luik)

4- : 17 participants
- 2nd round: Charles Van Antwerpen (RSN Antwerpen), José Rosa (ditto),
Harry Elzendoorn (ditto), Florent Caers (ditto)

Melbourne 1956 (25 participating countries)

At the Games of Melbourne in 1956 rowing took place at Lake Wendooree on four lanes.  The number of participating countries dropped to twenty-five. Belgians
competitors were there each of the three disciplines with two rowers. In 2+ the
brothers Antoon and Lieven Ven with coxswain Van Thillo, reached the
semi-finals. Knuysen en Baeten entered again in 2- but fell in the qualifiers, as
also the Ostend brothers Henri and Fernand Steenacker in double scull.

2- : 9 participants
- qualifier: Michel Knuysen (Antwerpse RV), Robert Baeten (ditto)

2+ : 8 participants
- semi-finals: Antoon Ven (Antwerpse RV), Lieven Ven (ditto), cox Jos Van
Thillo (ditto)

2x : 8 participants
- qualifier: Henri Steenacker (Oostende), Fernand Steenacker (ditto)

Rome 1960 (33 participating countries)

From the Games of Rome in 1960 onwards, rowing competitions were held on six race lanes. There were 33 participating countries. On the Lago Albano the buoys were attached together for the first time so they formed a perfect line, until today also
known as the Albano system. Belgians took part in 2+ with Ostend rowers Bollenberg,
Luca and coxswain Pollet (eliminated in the heats) and the 2x with Liège rowers
Higny and Lemaire (who reached the final and finished 6th).

2+ : 17 participants
- qualifier: Roland Bollenberg (Oostende), Edgar Luca (ditto), cox Etienne
Pollet (ditto)

2x : 16
participants - final 6th : Gérard Higny (UN Luik), Jean-Marie Lemaire (ditto)

Tokyo 1964 (28 participating countries)

The Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 put the rowers at work on the Toda race course.
Twenty-eight countries participated. For the first time, they also rowed B-finals, competing for the 7th to 12th place. Thus we can mention the only Belgian crew participating (a Antwerp-Liège combination in 2x) finished in 9th place. Probably a better result could have been achieved if the 4- wasn't kept at home. This
crew (with Dirk Rynwalt of Sport Gent and the brothers Lenders, then of Club
Gent) ended fourth in Luzern and had beaten the British (who took silver in Tokyo!)
in Amsterdam on the European Championships. The non-selection had nothing to do
with rowing but certain balances were wielded by the BOIC and priority was
given to a hockey team.

2x : 12 participants
- 9th : Michel De Meulemeester (Antwerp Rowing), Gérard Higny (UN Luik)

Mexico 1968 (29 participating countries)

On the Olympic Games of Mexico in 1968 the rowing competitions took place on the Virgilio Uribe course in Xochimilco. The only Belgian, Brussels rower Claude Dehombreux (of course in single scull), didn't get through the qualifiers.

1x : 17 participants
- qualifier: Claude Dehombreux (RSN Brussel)

Munich 1972 (35 participating countries)

The 1972 Munich Games brought the rowing competitions to the Oberschleissheim-Feldmoching course. The only Belgians rowed in 2x with Dehombreux and Heyché (who reached the B-final and ended 9th on nineteen participants) and in 2+ with Paul
De Weert and Wilfried Van Herck and coxswain Guy Defraigne (who didn't get
through the qualifiers).

2+ : 21 participants
- qualifier: Paul De Weert (Club Gent), Wilfried Van Herck (RSN Antwerpen), cox
Guy Defraigne (Club Gent)

2x : 19 participants

- 9th: Claude Dehombreux (RSN Brussel), Albert Heyché (ditto)

Montréal 1976 (31 participating countries)

The 1976 Montréal Games were innovative for Olympic rowing. Not so much because on the Bassin Olympique of l'Ile Notre Dame (specially dug for the Games causing the
Belgian pavilion of the World Fair of 1967 to be demolished) for the first time
there were eight disciplines for the men (the quad was added), but also because
for the first time women's rowing was introduced and this immediately in six
disciplines (1x, 2x, 2-, 4x+, 4+ and 8+), although over 1.000 meters. This was
certainly not too early because FISA had been organising European championships
in women's rowing since 1954. No Belgians in the women's events, but in the
men's 1x, 2x and 4-.The selection of the 4- took a lot of effort. A fierce
battle was waged between Sport Gent with Marc Oosterlinck, Noël Wijckhuyse, Guy
Van Laere and Patrick Rombaut and ARV with Johan Ghoos, Paul De Weert, Bob
Jordaens and Frank Dedecker. Eventually the homogeneous crew of ARV was
selected for the Games by the Belgian Olympic head of Rowing, Bob Baeten (also
member of ARV). The obvious choice however would have been a mixed crew. All
Belgians reached the B-finals with a twelfth place for the single sculler (Dehombreux
for the third time) and the double scull (the Ghent-Bruges combination Willems-Vermeersch) and a tenth place for the 4-.

M1x : 15 participants

- 12th: Claude Dehombreux (RSN Brussel)

M2x : 13 participants
- 12th : Patrick Willems (Gentse USB), Didier Vermeersch (KR Brugge)

M4- : 15 participants
- 10th : Johan Ghoos (Antwerpse RV), Paul De Weert (ditto), Bob Jordaens (ditto), Frank Dedecker (ditto)

Moscow 1980 (25 participating countries)

The Olympic Games of Moscow in 1980 suffered from the boycott of many Western countries, so the number of participating countries dropped to 25. Rowing took place on the Krylatskoje rowing course. They rowed in the same disciplines as in Montréal. Belgium didn't boycott the Games, but didn't delegate any rowers. Nevertheless the 4-
of Sport Gent with Marc Oosterlinck, Guy Van Laere, Noël Wijckhuyse and Mark
Verhoeyen was already in the 1979 pre-selection for the Games, but during a
training camp in Banyoles Mark Verhoeyen stepped out of the project and a
replacement was never found.

Los Angeles 1984 (29 participating countries)

The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles suffered from the boycott of the Eastern Bloc countries (except Romania, a strong rowing country), so there were 29 participating
countries. The rowing competitions took place on the Casitas Lake in the same
disciplines as in 1976 and 1980. The Belgians were there with a ladies single
scull, Ann Haesebrouck, who won bronze, and the men's 2+ (the brothers William and
Guy Defraigne of Club Gent) who ended 10th, and the 2x (Pierre-Marie
De Loof and Dirk Crois) who won silver. The three Belgian medal winners (the
first in 32 years!) were all member of the Brugse Trim en Roeivereniging (BTR),
an association who wasn't founded until 1976.

W1x : 16 participants - bronze: Ann Haesebrouck (Brugse TR)

M2+ : 12 participants - 10th : William Defraigne (Club Gent), Guy Defraigne (ditto), cox Philippe Ceulenaere (ditto)

M2x : 11 participants
- silver: Dirk Crois (Brugse TR), Pierre-Marie De Loof (ditto)

Seoul 1988 (38 participating countries)

At the Olympics Games of Seoul in 1988 (almost) everybody was present again, so the
number of 38 participating countries was reached. They rowed on the river Han.
From now on the women also rowed 2.000 metres. In addition the 4x+ was replaced
by the 4x. Belgians participated in the women's 1x and 4x+ and the men's 1x and
2-. The women's single scull was Rita Defauw of Sport Gent, who finished 9th.
Without the aftermath of an accident shortly before the Games she certainly
would have reached the finals, as evidenced by the medals she subsequently took
on the World Championships afterwards. The coxed quadruple scull (Bredael,
Focqué, Haesebrouck and Vandermoere) reached the A-final and finished 6th.
Dirk Crois, now a single sculler, didn't make it through the qualifiers, while
the 2- with Alain Lewuillon and Wim Van Belleghem (coached by Guido Terryn)
reached the A-final and just missed the bronze medal finishing in fourth place.

M1x : 22 participants
- qualifier: Dirk Crois (Brugse TR)

W1x : 13 participants
- 9th : Rita Defauw (Sport Gent)

M2- : 18 participants
- 4th : Alain Lewuillon (UN Brussel), Wim Van Belleghem (Brugse TR)

W4x : 10 participants
- 6th : Annelies Bredael (TRT), Lucia Focqué (ditto), Ann Haesebrouck (Brugse TR), Marie-Anne Vandermoere (KR Brugge)

Barcelona 1992 (45 participating countries)

The Olympic Games of 1992 took place in Barcelona, with rowing competitions on the Estany de Banyolas. The record number of 45 participating countries was reached. One change in the disciplines: the women's 4+ was replaced with the 4-. Four
Belgian crews at the start. In the women's a double scull, Govaert-Haesebrouck,
who finished 9th, and a single scull who won silver (Annelies Bredael, member of TRT Hazewinkel). In the men's a quadruple scull, who finished twelfth, and a coxless pair, Goiris-Van Driessche, who reached the A-final where they finished fourth.

W1x : 15 participants
- silver: Annelies Bredael (TRT)

M2- : 19 participants
- 4th : Luc Goiris (TRT), Jaak Van Driessche (Gentse RS)

W2x : 13 participants
- 9th : Renée Govaert (CR Brussel), Ann Haesebrouck (ditto)

M4x : 15 participants
- 12th : Dirk Crois (Brugse TR), Alain Lewuillon (CR Brussel), Tom Symoens (KR Brugge), Wim Van Belleghem (Club Gent)

Atlanta 1996 (45 participating countries)

The Atlanta Olympics of 1996 put the rowers at work on Lake Lanier, almost 90 kilometres away from Atlanta. The number of participating countries was 45 once again. The most important innovation was the introduction of lightweight rowing in the
Olympic program. Not exactly early if you know that lightweights already competed in the World Championships since 1974 (men) an 1985 (women). The races were limited to a 2x and 4- for the men and the 2x for the women. At the same time the men's 2+ and 4+ and the women's 4- were deleted, so the number of events remained at 14 (8 men's and 6 women's). There were three Belgian crews at the start, who all failed in the
semi-finals. The men's double scull Symoens-Hendrickx finished 10th, while the coxless pair Goiris-Van Driessche won the B-final (7th place). The women's single scull Bredael finished 8th.

W1x : 17 participants
- 8th : Annelies Bredael (TRT)

M2- : 18 participants

- 7th : Luc Goiris (TRT), Jaak Van Driessche (Gentse RS)

M2x : 19 participants
- 10th : Tom Symoens (KR Brugge), Bjorn Hendrickx (Oostende)

Sydney 2000 (51 participating countries)

During the 2000 Olympics at Sydney rowing took place in the Regatta Centre in Penrith. The disciplines were the same as in Atlanta. Although FISA, in contrast with other sports federations, imposed strict standards, 51 countries participated, a new
record, with more than 550 rowers. The Belgian delegation was limited to one
crew, the men's 4x, who finished ninth. The main event was the fifth gold medal
in a row for the Brit Steve Redgrave, for which IOC-President Samaranch made
the 45 kilometres journey to Penrith to personally hand out the medals.

M4x : 13 participants
- 9th : Bjorn Hendrickx (Oostende), Arnaud Duchesne (UN Luik), Stijn Smulders (TRT), Luc Goiris (Antwerpse RV)

Athens 2004 (55 participating countries)

The tournament was held on the newly built rowing course of Schinias, near
Marathon. They feared that fierce winds would disturb the course, unprotected
and dug out in a barren landscape, and jeopardise the competitions. In 2003 the
World Junior Championships, which featured as an Olympic test regatta, had
become a catastrophe. Fortunately the wind problems remained limited to one
day, where the schedule of the repêchages needed to be adjusted. During the
finals however, the weather conditions were ideal.

FISA stuck to its strict selection criteria, but nonetheless the number of participating
countries reached a new record, namely 55, and this from all continents. Noteworthy
event of these Games was the fifth gold medal for the Romanian Elisabeth Lipa who
thus equalled the performance of Sir Steven Redgrave.

The Belgian participation was limited to two men's crews, with exclusively Bruges rowers. They had obtained their selection just ten weeks prior. It was long feared
there wouldn't be any Belgian participation. For the first time a Belgian
lightweight crew participated with Justin Gevaert and Wouter Vanderfraenen. The
objective to reach at least the B-final wasn't achieved. The end result was a 3rd
place in the C-final, or 15th on a total of 21 crews. Single sculler
Tim Maeyens (barely 23 years old) reached the A-final unexpectedly, for the
first time in years rowing aroused widespread interest in the Flemish sports
media. He finished in sixth place in a final littered with rowers who had
already won numerous titles and medals.

M1x : 29 participants
- 6th : Tim Maeyens (KR Brugge)

ML2x : 21 participants
- 15th : Justin Gevaert (KR Brugge), Wouter Vanderfraenen (ditto)

Beijing 2008 (60 participating countries)

The newly built rowing course of Shunyi, 36 kilometres of Beijing, was not beyond
reproach. The intention was to rely on a local river to supply water, but
drought made this impossible and they had to rely on drinking water. The local
population fell victim to this decision. Moreover, the warm water induced weed

The number of participating countries was now 60, a new record. Noteworthy newcomers were Iraq, Iran and Monaco. Australia was the only country selected in all events.
The Romanian Georgeta Andrunache repeated the exceptional performance of Steven
Redgrave (2000) and Elisabeth Lipa (2004) and won his fifth gold medal.

Belgium participated with two men's crews. Tim Maeyens (KRB) had earned his selection in single scull in the previous year, but until May 2008 they hesitated whether
to use him in a double scull. The selection of the double scull, with eventually Christophe Raes and Bart Poelvoorde (both GRS), was enforced just in
the last World Cup event. Raes and Poelvoorde reached the semi-finals easily.
There they were eliminated, but in the B-final they convincingly conquered the
second place, ultimately an unexpected eight place in the overall ranking. Tim
Maeyens reached the A-final of the single scull effortlessly and became
authoritarian fourth in a race against opponents 11 to 21 kilograms heavier.
Again rowing was deservedly a prominent item in Belgian Olympic press coverage.

M1X : 33 participants
- 4th : Tim Maeyens (KR Brugge)

M2x : 15 participants
- 8th : Christophe Raes (Gentse RS), Bart Poelvoorde (ditto)

London 2012 (57 participating countries)

London is the only city that housed the Olympic Games three times, but obviously Henley wasn't the venue were the rowing events were held for the third time. Now that they were held at Dorney Lake in Eton, property of the eponymous college, located 30
kilometres west of London (not far from Henley). It wasn't specially constructed for the Olympic Games (the building already started in 1996), but it was one of the arguments to get the Games to London. Nevertheless for a moment there was even talk of building an Olympic rowing course somewhere else.
The rowing course itself is beautiful, but the orientation in function of the
dominant wind direction is not. The orientation could not be otherwise because
the construction took place near a protected nature reserve.

The number of participating countries was 57, the highest number after Beijing. There were 550 athletes in 206 crews.

The Belgian participation was limited to one athlete: Tim Maeyens. Due to various
circumstances he wasn't able to qualify until Spring 2012, so for a long while
it seemed that would not have any Belgian rowing representative since 1980. Tim
Maeyens convincingly won the preliminaries, even set an Olympic record, and was
also very convincing in the quarter finals. The semi-final was a huge
disappointment: a fierce head wind made it an impossible battle to win against
much heavier, bigger and therefore stronger opponents. Failure to reach the
A-final was not yet digested when the B-finals were rowed two days later. A
twelfth place in the overall ranking was the final result.

M1X : 33 participants
- 12th : Tim Maeyens (BR Brugge) - rowed an Olympic record during the heats!

Participated three times

Claude Dehombreux (1968-72-76), Ann Haesebrouck (1984-88-92), Dirk Crois (1984-88-92), Annelies Bredael (1988-92-96), Luc Goiris (1992-1996-2000) and Tim Maeyens
(2004-08-12), or six athletes.

Participated two times

Oscar Desomville and Rodolphe Poma (both 1900-08), Polydore Veirman (1908-12), Joseph Hermans (1908-20) Georges Vanden Bossche (1912-20), Jean Van Silfhout, (1920-24), Maurice Delplancke, Alphonse De Wette, Marcel Roman, Victor Denis en Georges Anthony (all 1924-28), Willy Collet (1936-48), Charles Van Antwerpen and José Rosa (both 1948-52), Henri Steenacker, Bob Baetens and Michel Knuysen (all 1952-56), Gérard Higny (1960-1964), Paul De Weert (1972-76), Guy Defraigne (1972-84), Alain Lewuillon and Wim Van Belleghem (1988-92), Jaak Van Driessche and Tom Symoens (1992-96) and Bjorn Hendrickx (1996-2000), or 25 athletes.

Participated one time

101 athletes.

Won a medal twice

Rodolphe Poma and Oscar Desomville (1900 and 1908) and Polydore Veirman (1908 and 1912), silver at each turn.

Won a medal

Seventeen athletes silver, four bronze. Thus, there are at least 24 Belgians winning an Olympic rowing medal (of which 6 after 1945).

Finally, we mention that Patrick Rombaut is an Olympic umpire since Barcelona 1992, being  Jury President in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Balance for Belgium: we participated in 23 Olympiads, where we delegated a rower 171 times (including 10 times a women), in 59 crews, who won six silver medals and two bronze medals. This with 135 different athletes (including six women). Belgian
Olympic rowing gold does not exist (yet).

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