FINA Communication Department

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.

Kalancha / Maltsev (RUS), silver

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.

USA's duet

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.

Italy's gold medallists 

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.


Giorgio Minisini (ITA), gold

“Italy had two bronze medals in Kazan. But we wanted to be better. Every day of the year we worked hard to get on the top. It was very important for us. After all we didn’t expect this victory. Usually it takes 3-4 years for a team to improve and to get 5 points more for the routine. We did 86 point for the technical program in Kazan. Doing 90 in this competition is something unbelievable. We couldn’t even think about such high scores.”

Aleksandr Maltsev (RUS), silver

“We all see the evolution of mixed duet competitions. Here, in Budapest, we have 10 duets in the starting list. In my opinion, it’s important to have more men in synchronised swimming. It will be good for our Olympic perspectives.”

Mikhaela Kalancha (RUS), silver

“We looked a little bit confused when we saw the scores. We were fighting for gold. Now we are second. But this result will definitely motivate us to do our best in the free program and to achieve our main goal.”

Bill May (USA), bronze

“I feel amazing. I’m not disappointed with this bronze medal at all. I’m happy with my result and with other performances. The participation grows. We have Greece, Brazil, Germany. Everyone is progressing. Men are getting better. It really shows the progress of our sport.”

Follow the synchronised swimming competition LIVE on FINAtv and checked the detailed results on FINA website here.