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A long-standing rivalry in the men’s eights

Let's not be under any illusions — the men's eight final in Rio will be an insanely competitive finale to the regatta. Forty-eight rowers and six coxes buzzing with testosterone and the burning desire to win the blue riband event of the Olympics. At this stage it's hard to call, after all seven of the Olympic eights have won medals at least once this summer. This is the first Olympics at which there will be no men's eights B-final, the quota having been reduced to 7 instead of 8 crews. At last summer's worlds Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Russia all qualified, with the USA and Poland adding themselves through the Lucerne FOQR in May. There's going to be turbulent racing.

At the eye of the Brazilian storm, however, are likely to be the German and British eights, who have chased each other persistently through the last two Olympiads. Germany had it all their own way with a clean sweep from 2009 to 2012, but in 2013 Britain's men's eight captured its first ever world title, and added to that with a second in 2014 (minus their top four rowers) and a third in 2015. Other countries have had a look-in, but the old rivals are always close to each other, barring injury.

At the eye of the Brazilian storm, are likely to be the German and British eights, who have chased each other persistently through the last two Olympiads.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.