| Event type

Single Sculls, Men

Date5 – 9 August 1948
LocationHenley Royal Regatta Course, Henley-on-Thames
Participants14 from 14 countries
Format1,929 metres

All three winners of the Diamond Challenge Sculls since World War II, Jean Séphériadès of France, Jack Kelly, Jr. of the United States (son of three-time Olympic rowing champion Jack Kelly, Sr.), and Australian Merv Wood, were present to contend for the Olympic single sculls crown at the 1948 tournament. Kelly had also been the runner-up in 1946, while Séphériadès was the 1947 European Champion. Wood, meanwhile, had represented his nation in the coxed eights at the 1936 Games. Another notable competitor was Hans Jakob Keller of Switzerland, the 1947 European bronze medalist.

Width restrictions at Henley meant that only three boats could compete at one time. When the waves had calmed after the round one repêchage, the only surprising absentee was Keller; all the other major contenders had advanced with ease. The three-boat limit meant that only the medalists would advance to the final, and Séphériadès had the misfortune of being placed in Wood’s head, where he was defeated handily. More surprising was Eduardo Risso of Uruguay’s victory in the semi-finals, since he edged out Kelly by 0.4 seconds after coming up dramatically from behind (Kelly’s time, however, would not have been sufficient to best any of the semi-final winners). Taking the first semi-final heat was the equally-unheralded Romolo Catasta of Italy, who recorded the fastest time of the round and finished ahead of Argentina’s Tranquilo Capozzo (who would earn a gold medal in the double sculls in 1952) by over seven seconds. The final, meanwhile, was no contest: Wood finished nearly 14 seconds ahead of Risso, who in turn was over 13 seconds ahead of Catasta. Risso’s silver was an improvement on Uruguay’s previous best rowing result at the Olympics; Guillermo Douglas had won bronze in the single sculls in 1932.

1Merv WoodAUSGold
2Eduardo RissoURUSilver
3Romolo CatastaITABronze
2 h1 r3/4Tranquilo CapozzoARG
2 h2 r3/4Jack Kelly, Jr.USA
2 h3 r3/4Jean SéphériadèsFRA
3 h1 r3/4Ian StephenRSA
3 h2 r3/4Tony RoweGBR
2 h1 r2/4Juan OmedesESP
2 h2 r2/4Hans Jakob KellerSUI
2 h3 r2/4Hamza AmeraEGY
3 h1 r2/4Faidon MatthaiouGRE
3 h2 r2/4Curt BrunnqvistSWE
3 h3 r2/4Dragutin PetrovečkiYUG

Round One

Date5 August 1948
FormatWinner of each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat #1

12 (Centre)Merv WoodAUS7:25.9Q
23 (Bucks)Eduardo RissoURU7:36.3
31 (Berks)Ian StephenRSA7:38.3

Heat #2

11 (Berks)Tony RoweGBR7:30.5Q
22 (Centre)Hans Jakob KellerSUI7:34.2
33 (Bucks)Dragutin PetrovečkiYUG8:17.3

Heat #3

12 (Centre)Jack Kelly, Jr.USA7:39.7Q
23 (Bucks)Curt BrunnqvistSWE7:47.2
31 (Berks)Juan OmedesESP7:52.1

Heat #4

13 (Bucks)Jean SéphériadèsFRA7:34.3Q
21 (Berks)Tranquilo CapozzoARG7:38.9
32 (Centre)Hamza AmeraEGY8:01.4

Heat #5

13 (Bucks)Romolo CatastaITAQ
21 (Berks)Faidon MatthaiouGRE

Round One Repêchage

Date6 August 1948
FormatWinner of each heat advanced to the semi-finals

Heat #1

12 (Centre)Tranquilo CapozzoARG7:45.0Q
23 (Bucks)Juan OmedesESP7:57.3
31 (Berks)Faidon MatthaiouGRE8:13.9

Heat #2

11 (Berks)Eduardo RissoURU7:24.4Q
23 (Bucks)Hans Jakob KellerSUI7:25.1
32 (Centre)Curt BrunnqvistSWE7:27.0

Heat #3

11 (Berks)Ian StephenRSA7:35.6Q
23 (Bucks)Hamza AmeraEGY7:44.8
32 (Centre)Dragutin PetrovečkiYUG8:17.3


Date7 August 1948
FormatWinner of each heat advanced to the final

Heat #1

13 (Bucks)Romolo CatastaITA8:05.4Q
22 (Centre)Tranquilo CapozzoARG8:12.6
31 (Berks)Ian StephenRSA

Heat #2

11 (Berks)Eduardo RissoURU8:09.3Q
22 (Centre)Jack Kelly, Jr.USA8:09.7
33 (Bucks)Tony RoweGBR8:23.8

Heat #3

11 (Berks)Merv WoodAUS8:08.5Q
23 (Bucks)Jean SéphériadèsFRA8:17.1

Final Round

Date9 August 1948 — 15:30
13 (Bucks)Merv WoodAUS7:24.4
22 (Centre)Eduardo RissoURU7:38.2
31 (Berks)Romolo CatastaITA7:51.4