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Andrunache emerges from Ignat’s shadow Rowing Pairs Women

Doina Ignat is one of Romania’s greatest Olympic heroines, having won a quad sculls silver in Barcelona in 1992 and then a gold in the women’s eights in Atlanta four years later. Besides her medal success she is also known for her inadvertent role in one of the best side-stories of the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 after her gold medal from the rowing eights was initially lost but then found by a local taxi driver.

Ignat won the coxless pairs in Sydney, partnered that day with Georgeta Andrunache (née Damian), who was herself a seasoned if unassuming performer in eights on the international scene since 1991. Andrunache would go on to eclipse her partner’s Olympic achievements in spectacular style at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Andrunache won her first gold medals in Sydney. Besides her pairs victory with Ignat she was also in the victorious women’s eight. She repeated this feat with the golden double in Athens four years later, this time with Viorica Susanu in the coxless pairs.

Romania’s golden run in the eights came to a halt at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing Park in Beijing, but Georgeta Andrunache’s quest for gold remained on track in the pairs.

She and Susanu faced the might of home pair Wu You and Gao Yulan as well as the vocal support of a vociferous home crowd as the sun beat down.

The Chinese pair’s tactics failed to pay off as they opted to preserve their energy in the opening half of the race.

Andrunache and Susanu opened up a decent lead and pushed home their advantage in the second half of the race, winning in seven minutes, 20.60 secs to beat the Chinese by 1.68secs.
In securing her fifth gold medal, Andrunache put herself alongside Nadia Comaneci but three short of the great gymnast’s overall total of nine Olympic medals.


43 Highlights

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Katerina Emmons - women’s 10m air rifle
  • Salukvadze, Pederina praised for gesture
  • Dutch end long wait for relay gold
  • Korean archery domination continues
  • Aussies edge Americans in scintillating relay
  • India's first individual gold medal
  • Coughlin again thwarts fast-finishing Coventry
  • Benjamin Boukpeti
  • Rice hits golden hat-trick in 4x200m relay
  • Phelps rewrites Olympic record books
  • China wins maiden team gymnastics gold
  • Steffen completes comeback with golden double
  • Andrunache emerges from Ignat’s shadow
  • The oldest winner of the women’s table tennis singles
  • Lightning Bolt electrifies Bird’s Nest
  • Roger Federer
  • British foursome continue Redgrave’s legacy
  • Zagunis leads U.S. clean sweep in sabre
  • Guo glitters in Water Cube
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Fraser leads unique Jamaican treble
  • Rebecca Romero
  • Reborn Taylor takes second hurdles title
  • Incredible Lezak puts Phelps on road to eight golds
  • Hoy joins cycling greats
  • Liukin follows in father’s footsteps
  • Jones heartbreak evokes Devers as Harper takes gold
  • IOC’s helping hand guides Nikpai to bronze
  • Bolt overcomes Johnson’s legendary 200m mark
  • Japan rock U.S. with softball win
  • Chausson, Strombergs grab first BMX golds
  • Campbell-Brown retains 200m crown
  • Steve Hooker
  • Jamaican foursome break world record
  • Perfect Walsh, May-Treanor star on the sand
  • Hellebaut raises the bar in battle with Vlasic
  • Korea ends baseball’s Olympic era with Cuban upset
  • Hungary secure stunning water polo hat-trick
  • Party atmosphere as curtain drawn on Beijing
  • Kanayeva waltzes to rhythmic gold
  • Mighty France thwart giantkillers Iceland
  • US restores basketball pride