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Oxford win 159th Boat Race

ESPN staff
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Oxford were impressive in their one-and-a-half length win © PA Photos
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Oxford put in a dominant performance to claim the 159th Boat Race ahead of rivals Cambridge.

Canadian Olympic medallist Malcolm Howard led the Oxford crew into an early lead, before race umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent had his work cut out in separating the boats at the Craven Cottage bend, warning both crews to move apart and avoid a collision.

Oxford looked to increase their advantage down the first straight but The Light Blues worked hard to keep the distance at three-quarters-of-a-length as they approached the half way stage.

Favourites Oxford soon moved into a dominant position, upping through the strokes under cox Osakr Zorilla to carve in front by two lengths under the Barnes Bridge.

The Dark Blues continued to push and quashed the Cambridge advantage at the final bend before the Chiswick Bridge finish.

The Light Blues showed courage to keep the battle alive, but it was Oxford who powered towards the finish and take a relentless two length victory.

"It was fun, tough but that was what we expected. We had a plan and we stuck to it ruthlessly," Zorilla told BBC Sport.

Oxford's Constantine Louloudis praised his rivals, adding: "It was a heck of a race. We fancied our chances but Cambridge made it very difficult for us, we had to push hard."

Cambridge boat club president George Nash confirmed that this would be his final race, offering praise to his Oxford counterparts on the tactics they used in order to secure victory.

"Oxford put together a really fantastic race," Nash told BBC Sport. "Eventually they put in one too many moves, they asked too many questions and we were just unable to come up with the goods.

"It is something that will replay in my head for the rest of my life. I am proud of the guys and what they have committed to over the last year. This is my final boat race."

Oxford president Alex Davidson said: "All credit to Cambridge it was a great race and they pushed us all the way."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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