A last minute twist was seen today at the synchronised swimming venue in Varosliget Park when Italy’s Manila Flamini and Giorgio Minisini, performing the penultimate routine of the event right after Japan and just before Russia, scored the highest points of the mixed duet technical event.
The Italian duet, formed of Minisini, 21 from Rome and Flamini, 29, claimed gold with an excellent 90.2979 points, narrowly defeating Russia’s duet Mikhaela Kalancha / Aleksandr Maltsev, ranking second in 90.2639.
The Russians had previously earned 88.4847 points in the prelims, leading the ranking on Saturday.
The Italians and Russia were also stronger than Kazan 2015’s gold medallist and male synchro swimming pioneer Bill May and new partner Kanako Spendlove (USA), who scored 87.6682 points today (against 87.9086 in the prelims), grabbing the bronze medal.
Italy has now one of the two mixed duet technical gold medals ever available for grabs at FINA World Championships, while USA has the first one from Kazan in its possession.
Japan (Atsushi Abe / Yumi Adachi) and Spain (Berta Ferreras / Pau Ribes) settled in fourth and fifth places with respectively 86.2679 and 84.3334 points.
Four more mixed duets than in Kazan entered this event in Budapest for a total of ten pairs: Russia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, USA, Brazil, Panama, and Spain
The final ranking of the final is as follows: 1.ITA, 2. RUS, 3. USA, 4. JPN, 5. ESP, 6. CAN, 7. BRA, 8. GRE, 9.GER, 10. PAN
The competition resumes on July 18 at 11am with the final of the team technical event.