Alec Dent has battled back from a serious injury to achieve his dream of rowing in the Boat Race.

The 20-year-old from Bampton, near Witney, was yesterday picked to row for Oxford against Cambridge in the 157th University clash on the Thames on Saturday, March 26 (5pm).

Dent, who rowed in the winning Isis (reserve) boat in 2009, was originally elected as president, but resigned due to a serious back injury.

He has fought his way back to fitness and rows at No 4, as the Dark Blues aim to turn the tables on Cambridge, who won a close contest in 2010.

The former pupil at the Dragon School, Oxford, said: “It’s a dream come true for me.

“When I was ten years old, my dad promised me that he would buy me a car if I ever got into the Boat Race crew. I’m not sure he can afford it now!”

Alongside Dent in the crew is former Abingdon School pupil, 29-year-old George Whittaker.

Henley resident Whittaker, who is also winning his first Blue, said: “It means a lot to me, because it’s such a prestigious race and I’ve always supported Oxford.

“I just can’t wait to get the race started.”