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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Victory eases Williams' pain
By Martin Gough
at the Boat Race

Barney Williams celebrates Oxford's Boat Race victory
Williams wants to row again in next year's race
Barney Williams says Oxford's Boat Race win is the first step to making up for the pain of missing Olympic gold.

Williams' Canadian crew finished two inches behind Matthew Pinsent's four in Athens, but the Dark Blues were two lengths ahead of Cambridge on Sunday.

"August 2008 (at the Bejing Olympics) will be the final day to make up for it but this is a good start," he said.

"I knew how much it was going to hurt to lose so half of me is just so glad we didn't lose."

Much had been race before the race of Oxford's power going up against the style of Cambridge.

But Oxford had both as they opened a gap after five minutes which they never relinquished.

"We got off the line and the goal was to get into rhythm as quickly as possible and I swear we were in it within three to five stokes," Williams explained.

"I truly never saw it going any other way when I was envisioning this race. I tried to envision being down but this crew has always gone off hard and strong."

They fought like tigers and should be proud of themselves
Cambridge coach Robin Williams salutes his crew

Oxford used a massive push with the Hammersmith bend in their favour, and Williams added: "We went on the inside and said 'This is our chance'.

"I really think that's where we broke their spirit and we just convinced them it wasn't going to happen."

Cambridge coach Robin Williams admitted there was little his crew could have done to topple a crew weighing an average 21lb per man heavier.

"It was a tremendous race. We did everything we could do. We didn't do anything wrong," he told BBC Sport.

"We probably didn't have the most amazing start but that can happen.

"Their pushes were very strong. Our pushes were quite effective as well but they just had the control over the situation and made good use of it."

Williams finishes his Cambridge tenure with seven wins from 11 races, but despite leaving a strong legacy for the future he made his disappointment clear.

"They fought like tigers and should be proud of themselves," he added.

"I'm proud of them but it doesn't affect the sinking feeling you have in your stomach to lose - it was horrible.

"The reward is everything, the loss is everything but that's the drug of the Boat Race."

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