Oxford Boat Race star makes shocking Thames admission with government told to intervene

Oxford rower Leonard Jenkins revealed how ‘too much poo’ in the Thames affected the Boat Race this year.

In the annual clash between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, extraordinarily high levels of E. coli were found in the Thames.

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Cambridge university’s men and women’s teams beat Oxford at the annual Boat Race but the event was marred by sewage-infected rivers

Oxford men’s team rower Jenkins revealed how he had been throwing up before the race began with Cambridge eventuallu claiming victory in the annual event.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “This morning I was throwing up and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to race.

“It would be a lot nicer if there wasn’t as much poo in the water.

“It’s not to take away from Cambridge, as we may not have beaten them even if we were all on top form.”

Thames Water insisted that improving river health was a ‘key focus’ for the company after unprecedented levels of sewage spills.

Earlier this week, Environment Agency figures revealed that raw sewage spills had almost doubled since last year 1.75 million hours of spills to 3.6 million hours.

That includes human waste, wet wipes and sanitary products, posing risks to swimmers.

Boat race crews had already been warned to avoid swallowing any water that might have splashed on them while rowing.

Oxford rower Jenkins revealed he had been throwing up before the race started

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Oxford rower Jenkins revealed he had been throwing up before the race started
Sewage spills in UK waters have doubled since last year

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Sewage spills in UK waters have doubled since last year

And the tradition of throwing the winning cox into the river was scrapped because of the sewage spills.

It has led to outrage from sections of fans and viewers on social media, who have demanded action from the government.

One fan said: “This should be a source of shame to the government. The Thames is too full of #sewage to safely dive in.”

A second put: “Why don’t we call out the water companies as being close to criminals and the government incompetent by letting it happen. Again an example of greed and myoptic focus on shareholder primacy at the expense of society.”

And this viewer posted: “Message to the government from today’s Boat Race – CLEAN UP OUR RIVERS!”

A government spokesperson said sewage being discharged into UK water was “completely unacceptable and water companies need to clean up their act fast”.



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