Boat Race: James Cracknell in Cambridge crew to face Oxford on River Thames

James Cracknell took gold in the coxless fours at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics
2019 Men’s Boat Race
Venue: River Thames, London Date: Sunday, 7 April Time: 13:20-16:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, Connected TV and online, with updates on Radio 5 live.

Two-time Olympic champion James Cracknell has been confirmed as part of Cambridge’s crew for the 2019 Boat Race – meaning he will become the oldest competitor in the event’s history.

Cracknell, 46, retired from elite rowing in 2006 but qualifies because he is studying a Master of Philosophy degree in human evolution at Cambridge.

He won gold in the coxless fours at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

The 2019 Boat Race, held on the River Thames, takes place on 7 April.

The previous oldest Boat Race competitor was Andy Probert who was 38 when he coxed the Cambridge boat in 1992. Mike Wherley was 36 when he rowed for Oxford in 2008.

Cambridge beat Oxford in the men’s, women’s and both reserve races of the annual event in 2018.

The Boat Race – number of wins since the men’s race started in 1856
Cambridge Oxford
83 80
The 1877 race finished in a dead heat

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Cracknell took gold in the coxless fours alongside Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Tim Foster.

And he repeated that feat four years later in Athens with Pinsent, Ed Coode and Steve Williams.

Cracknell is also a former six-time champion at the World Rowing Championships, where he claimed gold medals in the coxless pair, coxed pair and coxless fours.

While he officially retired from the sport at the age of 33, Cracknell went on to compete in a South Pole Race in 2009, which involved rowing across the Atlantic Ocean and trekking across the Arabian Desert.

In 2010, he finished 12th in the 156-mile Marathon des Sables – the best finish by a Briton in the endurance race.

More recently Cracknell completed the London Marathon in a time of two hours, 43 minutes and 12 seconds, in 2017.

Cycling accident

In the summer of 2010 Cracknell suffered a serious head injury when he was knocked off his bike by a truck in the US.

He was filming a documentary as he attempted to cycle, row, run and swim from Los Angeles to New York within 16 days when the accident happened.

Following the incident he said he was “lucky to be alive”, but admitted his memory had been affected and his personality had changed.

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