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Double rowing Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell has become the oldest rower ever to compete in the Boat Race after being picked for the Cambridge University team.

The 47-year-old looked thrilled as it was announced he would be part of the Light Blue team, competing in the famous Boat Race on the River Thames. Cracknell is now the oldest man ever to compete in the annual contest, beating Andy Probert, who was 38 when he coxed Cambridge in 1992 and Mike Wherley who rowed for Oxford at 36 in 2008. James has two Olympic Gold medals from Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, is also the most decorated man to take part in the competition against Oxford.

Dara Alizadeh, 25, president of Cambridge University Boat Club, previously said: “He’s dealt with a bit of injury throughout the season but he’s got a lot of toughness and a lot of racing ability so it gives him a good shot. James is a tremendous presence on the team. His rowing background is pretty impressive and he brings experience to the squad. What’s nice with our club is that we have such a range of guys on the team - at the older end we have people of James’s age with a lot of experience and at the other end we have some undergrads who are in their first year of Uni. What’s nice is that all the guys, no matter how old they are and how experienced they are, they fit right in and we’ve able to form quite a close-knit group. James is a big part of that.”

Cracknell, who is currently doing an MPhil at Cambridge University, was seen training with his potential teammates on the River Great Ouse in Ely, Cambs.

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