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Category: University of Oxford

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John Woodcock obituary

Long-serving cricket correspondent for the Times who also spent six years as editor of WisdenEvery time there is an on-field occurrence – wicket, goal, whatever – at a sporting event, the journalists present will huddle to make sure their interpretatio…

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Bomb scare can’t dampen the festivities as Oxford vanquish Cambridge

• ‘Hard work’, but favourites lead throughout to win men’s race
• Cambridge’s women crush Oxford by 11 lengths in record time

A day that began with a bomb scare ended with an explosion of joy from the Oxford supporters assembled at the finish line of the 163rd Boat Race. They saw their team justify their favouritism in a race they led from start to finish, albeit without their lead ever seeming insurmountable. Having won the toss of the ceremonial 1829 gold sovereign, their president Michael Disanto chose Surrey Station, which ought to have given Cambridge the advantage on the first bend. The light blues failed to make use of it, allowing their rivals to open a lead they would never relinquish. The official winning distance was one boat-length-and-a-quarter but it was closing as the crews inched towards Chiswick Bridge.

Related: Boat Races 2017: Oxford men and Cambridge women win – as it happened

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Boat Race in doubt after unexploded second world war bomb found near start

Organisers to decide on Sunday whether annual race will go ahead after member of public spotted device near Putney Bridge

Organisers of the annual Oxford v Cambridge boat races are to decide whether Sunday’s event will go ahead after an unexploded second world war bomb was found near the starting line.

Police were called on Saturday after a member of the public spotted the device in the river Thames near Putney Bridge, yards from where the annual rowing event will get under way. Marine experts examined the submerged bomb and the races are expected to go ahead as planned.

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Cambridge beat Oxford to win 162nd Boat Race

• Cambridge beat Oxford for first time in four years
• Favourites for race break Oxford run of six wins in eight years

Cambridge University have beaten Oxford to win the 162nd edition of the Boat Race and end their rivals’ recent dominance.

Related: Oxford win Women’s Boat Race as Cambridge struggle with sinking boat

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Oxford’s women row into boat race history

Inaugural victory over men’s course marks an end to decades of inequality

It was a historic day, when the women’s boat race was staged over the same stretch of the Thames as the men for the first time – and also broadcast live for the first time. So it was appropriate that the winning Oxford boat was called Catalyst.

Women’s sport has often struggled for exposure but, on its 70th outing, the women’s race was finally given pride of place in the schedules and on TV. Unfortunately, while it was historic, the race was no classic. The gap in class between the two crews was apparent as soon as the starter Simon Harris cried “Go!” Oxford were a length clear after two minutes and finished the 4.2 mile course 19 seconds and six-and-a-half lengths clear of Cambridge.

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Women’s Boat Race 2015: equality will be true winner of historic meeting

Female crews representing Oxford and Cambridge universities given equal billing for first time in a sport previously deemed unladylike

History will be made on the Tideway on Saturday afternoon as the women’s boat race takes place on the same stretch of the rThames in London as the men for the first time.

The women’s Varsity contest, which will also be televised for the first time, has come a long way since its inception on the river Isis in 1927 when the crews were not allowed to race because it was deemed “unladylike”. Instead Oxford and Cambridge universities took part in a time trial, judged on style, as “large and hostile crowds gathered on the towpath”, according to one national newspaper at the time.

I never dreamed of being in the boat race because it was never an option

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Oxford women’s boat race team require RNLI rescue after sinking on Thames

• Oxford team hit by rough waters near Chiswick during training
• RNLI returns rowers safely to Putney and boat is recovered
• Cambridge have heavier crew for boat race

The Oxford University Women’s Boat Race team were rescued from the Thames by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution on Wednesday after being overcome by rough waters.

Crew members from the Chiswick RNLI station came to the assistance of the Oxford crew and their cox, who were training for the Boat Race, which – along with the men’s race – takes place on 11 April.

Related: Cambridge have heavier crew than Oxford for 2015 Boat Race

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Daniel Topolski, former Oxford coach and Observer writer, dies aged 69

• Tributes led by Sir Steve Redgrave to rowing commentator
• Topolski won Boat Race with the Dark Blues for 10 consecutive years

Sir Steve Redgrave led tributes to the former Oxford rowing coach, Observer writer and BBC commentator Daniel Topolski, who died on Saturday aged 69.

Topolski was an Oxford blue and finishing coach for the Boat Race crew between 1973 and 1987. He went on to become a familiar voice on the BBC’s coverage of the annual event, along with the Olympic Games and world championships. He wrote about rowing for the Observer from 1991 to 2012.

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Daniel Topolski, former Oxford coach and Observer writer, dies aged 69

• Tributes led by Sir Steve Redgrave to rowing commentator
• Topolski won Boat Race with the Dark Blues for 10 consecutive years

Sir Steve Redgrave led tributes to the former Oxford rowing coach, Observer writer and BBC commentator Daniel Topolski, who died on Saturday aged 69.

Topolski was an Oxford blue and finishing coach for the Boat Race crew between 1973 and 1987. He went on to become a familiar voice on the BBC’s coverage of the annual event, along with the Olympic Games and world championships. He wrote about rowing for the Observer from 1991 to 2012.

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Oxford win Boat Race by 11 lengths after clash of blades on Thames

160th staging of race ends with biggest margin of victory since 1973 after Cambridge boat damaged early on Continue reading…

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Boat race: Oxford v Cambridge as it happened

Oxford raced away to win the 2014 race by 11 lengths, the biggest margin of victory since 1973, following a Cambridge error early in the race which gave the Dark Blues a decisive advantage Continue reading…

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Boat Race 2014: Ivo Dawkins aims to avoid dad’s sinking feeling

Cambridge’s 1978 dunking still a staple of TV coverage Bookmakers make experienced Oxford favourites Continue reading…

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Oxford select experienced crew ahead of 160th Boat Race with Cambridge

• Three Olympians to compete in the Dark Blue boat
• Light Blues weigh an average of 2kg more per man

The weigh-in for the 160th Boat Race saw the defending champions, Oxford, unveil a lighter crew than rivals Cambridge but one with plenty of experience.

Three Olympians, including the London 2012 bronze medallist Constantine Louloudis, filled the Dark Blue boat, which weighed in at an average of 89.7kg ahead of the event on 6 April.

Not to be intimidated by conceding more than 2kg a man to their Light Blue opponents, Karl Hudspith, Oxford’s third man who will be taking part in his fourth successive Boat Race, sized up Ivo Dawkins by facing his opposite number as he stepped on to the scales.

“Everyone motivates themselves in different ways and Karl can be quite confrontational,” said Louloudis.

The 20-year-old Dawkins was said to be unfazed. The Cambridge president, Steve Dudek, said: “Ivo is about as cool a customer as I could ever hope to row with.”

The Cambridge coach, Steve Trapmore, added: “It’s all very well sizing people up, you’ve got to be able to back it up.”

Cambridge are optimistic of a good response after their 2013 loss and Dudek referred to his team-mates Dawkins and Helge Gruetjen when he said: “there’s a lot of freakish natural talent either side of me”.

Trapmore is pleased with the composition of his crew as Cambridge bid to win after last tasting success in the controversial 2012 edition, which featured a restart following the intervention of protestor Trenton Oldfield.

“The team’s come together really well,” Trapmore said. “There’s nowhere near the depth of experience that Oxford have, but I’m always confident.”

Louloudis is bidding for a hat-trick of wins with Oxford. The 22-year-old stroke won the event in 2011 and 2013, taking a break in 2012 to focus on the Olympics.

“I’d love to get a third win, that’d be awesome,” he said. “We’ve got lots of guys in the boat who have done the job before but we can’t rest on our laurels. Last year’s race was really tough.

“You’ve got to shift your weight and I’m pretty confident we’ve got enough power in the boat to do the job.”

The Oxford president, Malcolm Howard, was the heaviest to weigh in at 108.2kg and was optimistic of a successful defence. “I believe it would take a truly special crew to beat us,” he said.

The women’s race takes place on 30 March at Henley, pending a river inspection later this week following the adverse winter weather. From 2015 the women’s race will take place on the Thames on the same day as the men’s, using the full 6.8km course.

The Oxford coach, Christine Wilson, has had one eye on preparing for 2015, but if it was thought winning the final race over 2km was an additional incentive, it is irrelevant to those in Dark Blue boat.

The Oxford president and third seat, Maxie Scheske, said: “We’re feeling really strong at the moment. I’m feeling pretty confident that we’ve got what it takes.

“We don’t really care about the format, we just want to win against Cambridge. That’s what matters to us.”

The women’s teams were introduced before the men and, while the 2013 winners, Oxford, were stony faced and steely eyed, Cambridge, an all-British crew, wore wide smiles and enjoyed the moment as they stepped on to the scales.

Cambridge’s Izzy Vyvyan, topped the scales at 87.2kg, helping the Light Blues to a weight advantage of 4kg per woman.

The Cambridge cox and president, Esther Momcilovic, said: “Why not smile? We don’t see why we should look miserable. I’ve got absolute confidence in my team this year. They’re a really powerful and strong unit.

“I haven’t come away from today with any less confidence in the team that we’ve assembled. In 20 days’ time, we’re going to go out there and absolutely smash them.”

theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



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Thames boat race protester asks tribunal to overturn deportation

Trenton Oldfield says returning to Australia is not an option ‘due to the everyday racism’ and separation from his wife and childKirsty de Garis

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Editorial: England rugby selectors pick South African: From the archive, 6 December 1933

Clarity is needed on foreign-born players representing England

The selection of Mr. H. G. Owen-Smith, of South Africa and Oxford, to play in an English Rugby trial match has revived an ancient controversy. One London newspaper will have none of him because he is South African born, of South African parents, and has played for South Africa at cricket. Another is all for the hospitable gesture, and would welcome to English teams any player from a Dominion who is living temporarily in the land of his fathers rather than deny him the chance of international football during his prime.

There is something to be said for both points of view. Scotland, who has always allowed herself in this respect a licence surprising in one so strict on other points, gave several international caps to an Egyptian who happened to be studying medicine at Edinburgh University; this is carrying hospitality to the verge of importunity.

On the other hand, S. M. J. Woods, who played cricket for Australia on a birth qualification, learned his football at Brighton and spent all his playing life in England; to deny him the chance of playing football for England would have been to inflict on him a considerable hardship.

Some single international rule is certainly needed. At present the football nations have only a “gentlemen’s agreement” that, in doubtful cases, the nation which first offers a trial to a player has thereby established first claim to him. This covers, though unsatisfactorily, the many cases of players with a double British qualification, such as Welsh birth and English residence; but it does not solve the problem of Dominion players.

These fall under two main headings – the men who come to an English university or hospital and then return to their own country, and those who come for the same purpose but afterwards settle in England. It seems equitable that the second class should play in British international football, but that the first should not.

If a minimum of six years’ unbroken residence were imposed as the only alternative to a birth qualification, the temporary visitors would be in most cases excluded, and the permanent settlers would qualify to play for their adopted country before their powers had begun to decline.

theguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Roy Hodgson shows Oxford Union his style is as impressive as Psy’s | Paul Campbell

The England manager does not attract the headlines of the South Korean Gangnam master but his urbane approach to life goes down well with those students not distracted by zombiesThe Oxford Union was called a “shambles” in the university press last week…