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Oxford and Cambridge twins to compete on opposing teams in the Boat Race

Catherine and Gemma King will row in rival boats for the first time in their lives


Twin sisters at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will row in competing teams in the 2024 Gemini Boat Race.

24-year-old Catherine and Gemma King have been rowing together since the age of 12 but have never before competed on opposing teams.

The sisters have rowed in the Boat Race for Cambridge, where they both did their undergraduate degree, since 2018. However, while Gemma remained at Cambridge for postgraduate studies, Catherine moved to Oxford for hers.

Gemma, studying stem cell biology, told PA news agency: “We are both very competitive and we obviously want to win, but at the end of the day the Boat Race is so much more than who wins or who loses.

“No matter what happens, I’m going to be really proud to be racing for Cambridge and proud of Catherine for racing for Oxford – but obviously we’d like to win.”

Catherine, who studies cardiovascular science, added: “I’m really looking forward to the Boat Race this year, it’s been a really exciting year for me because I joined the Oxford team.

“The Boat Race is an amazing experience to be a part of and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do on race day.”

While the twin sisters will be competing on opposing teams, it is unlikely they will go directly head to head as an injury meant Catherine will be competing in the second boat for Oxford, while Gemma will row in Cambridge’s first boat.

The two joked that their parents, who will “definitely be supporting us both,” may wear hats or T-shirts containing both Cambridge’s light blue and Oxford’s dark blue colours.

Speaking on their sisterly bond, Catherine comments: “We got into sport together and I think because we’re both competitive as individuals, as well as with each other, we pushed each other on to become better athletes.”

The Gemini Boat Race, which will take place on Saturday 30th March 2024, is in its 78th year for the women’s and 169th year for the men’s.

Featured image credit: Tim Bekir – British Heart Foundation

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