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Drysdale sets world best in single sculls

ETON, England (AP) _ Mahe Drysdale set a world best in defending his single sculls title Saturday at the world rowing championships, rallying to win by 9/10ths of a second.

The New Zealander won in 6 minutes, 35.40 seconds on Dorney Lake, the venue for the rowing events at the 2012 London Olympics. He beat Marcel Hacker of Germany, who had previously held the fastest time.

``Going into the last 250 meters, he still had a length and then I crossed the line and looked around and realized I got it,'' Drysdale said.

Hacker finished in 6:35.49. He set the previous world best of 6:36.33 at the 2002 world championships in Seville, Spain.

``I was very, very lucky to get away with silver,'' Hacker said. ``I had an operation (on a hernia) eight weeks ago so I was told to do no training, but I did train a week afterwards.''

Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic was third, with Olympic champion Olaf Tufte of Norway in fourth.

Ekaterina Karsten-Khodatovich also defended her title in the single sculls, beating Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic by four seconds. Karsten-Khodatovich hasn't lost a race since finishing second at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Karsten won the world title in 1999 and took single sculls gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Liz Kell and Brooke Pratley of Australia won the women's double sculls in 6:47.67, beating Britta Oppelt and Susanne Schmidt of Germany at the line.

Drew Ginn and Duncan Free of Australia won the men's pairs, Darcy Marquardt and Jane Rumball of Canada won the women's pairs, Jean-Baptiste Macquet and Adrien Hardy won the men's doubles sculls and the British team of Steve Williams, Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andrew Triggs Hodge won the men's fours.
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