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Boat Race rower claims 'so much poo in water' made Oxford crew sick before Cambridge loss

Defeated rowing star Leonard Jenkins admitted that he was throwing up on the morning of this year’s Boat Race, with ‘so much poo in the water’ also affecting a number of his Oxford team-mates before Cambridge stormed to a one-sided victory on the River Thames.

Oxford were expected to clinch only their second victory in six years on Saturday, with Cambridge dominating the contest since 2018. However, Jenkins and his team-mates fell behind from the word go.

They were ultimately unable to claw back the deficit, despite Matt Edge suffering from serious fatigue towards the end of the race and effectively leaving Cambridge a man light. After Oxford’s painful defeat, Jenkins claimed that pre-match illness had spread through the camp.

“I will say, and this is in no way to take away from Cambridge, but we’ve had a few guys come down with the E. coli strain,” he told the BBC. “This morning I was throwing up and I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it into the boat.

“I ultimately kept that quiet, that’s on my shoulders. I’m not sure if it was the right choice, because I really didn’t feel like I had much to give in the race.

“But it would have meant taking one of the top guys out of the other teams and ruining their chances – I wanted to give them a fair fight. It would have been ideal not to have so much poo in the water [laughs] but that’s not to take away from Cambridge.

“They’re a talented crew and I don’t know if we’d have had a chance to get them even if we had been on form, it’s in no way to make excuses.”


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