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Sunday, October 20
Neykova dominates women's event by five seconds

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Duncan Free took the lead from Michael Perry over the final 30 meters and went on to defend his title in the men's Championship Sprint at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday.

Rumyana Neykova followed her dominating victory in the Championship Singles on Saturday by winning the women's Championship Sprint in 1 minute, 59.64 seconds, almost five seconds ahead of Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski.

Free, a member of the Australian national team and a 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, held the early lead before Perry went ahead at the 100-meter mark. Perry kept a slight lead until the final five strokes, when Free took control of the 550-meter race.

Free finished in 1:48.96, with Perry at 1:49:35. Steve Tucker was third in 1:55:39.

Free dedicated his race to former Australian national team member and childhood friend Tim Hawkins, who was killed in the terrorist attack in Bali, Indonesia last week.

''I've been thinking about him all week,'' Free said.

U.S. Rowing continued its dominance, sweeping the Championship Eights for the second consecutive year. The men's team, which has won eight consecutive HOTC titles in the Eights, beat out college squads from Wisconsin and Northeastern, finishing seven seconds ahead of the Badgers' boat. The women held off the Canadian national team by four seconds, finishing in 16:12.90.

U.S. Rowing also won the Championship Fours with a four-second victory over Sydney, Australia's University of Technology. The Canadians beat the University of Victoria to win the women's Championship Fours by 34 seconds. Prerace favorite Frankfurter Rudergesellschaft Germania finished third.

U.S. national team members Hilary Gehman and Kelly Salchow defended their title in the women's Championship Doubles, and the team of Stijn Smulders and Bjorn Hendrixkx won on the men's side.

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