Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Video Of The Week: The Kings of the Men's Coxed Pair
The 2014 World Rowing Championships are just four days away, and without a doubt one of the most anticipated events this year will be the men's pair with coxswain (how long has it been since we've been able to say that?). This is, of course, thanks to the Kiwi Pair's decision to double-up in the event. So, we thought it only fitting to take advantage of the occasion to reflect on one of the most dominant crews of the 20th century, another impressive duo, the Abbagnale brothers.
Starting in 1981, the Abbagnales finished no lower than bronze (and that only once) at any world championships or Olympics until they retired from international competition in 1994. During that span, they were world champions nine times, including their two Olympic titles, and Giuseppe Abbagnale was the flag-bearer for Italy at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Indeed, it took one of the most amazing, seemingly impossible sprints in the modern history of rowing to keep the Abbagnales from winning a third-straight Olympic gold—that very sprint elevated another set of brothers, the Searles, to the top of the rowing world.
Want more coxed pair rowing history? The one and only Sir Steve Redgrave won a bronze medal in the coxed pair at the 1988 Olympic Games, in addition to a gold in the M2- at the same regatta (Redgrave won silver and gold in those events at the 1987 world championships in Copenhagen)—it is an event that has had no shortage of rowing royalty racing for glory in the past.
So, as we all get ready to enjoy watching the world's finest rowers battle it out on the Bosbaan, it's worth keeping in mind that, taking nothing away from the legends of today, they are the current generation in a long line of outstanding competitors, whose feats may never again be equalled. Or will they?