Budapest: Italy provided a brief distraction from Chinese domination of diving at the world championships when Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini claimed a gold medal in synchronised swimming on Monday.
China repeated their feat of Sunday when they won both finals, making the disappointment of ‘only’ one medal on Saturday an aberration.
Shi Tingmao and Chang Yani won the team’s ninth straight world title in women’s 3-meter springboard synchronised diving, then Chen Aisen and Yang Hao delivered China’s fifth gold of the championships in the men’s 10-meter platform.
Minisini and Flamini won the mixed duet technical title with a total of 90.2979 points, edging Mikhaela Kalancha and Aleksandr Maltsev of Russia by just 0.034 of a point.
“Doing 90 in this competition is something unbelievable. We couldn’t even think about such high scores,” Minsini said.
The Italian pair impressed the judges with a choreography called, “A Scream from Lampedusa,” created by Russian synchronised swimmer Anastasia Ermakova, and dedicated to the huge numbers of migrants arriving on the Italian island between Sicily and Tunisia every year.
Bill May and Kanako Spendlove claimed bronze for the United States’ first medal of the championships.
“I feel amazing. I’m not disappointed with this bronze medal at all,” said May, who won gold in this event at the 2015 worlds.
Chen and Yang, who won the 10-meter platform in all four meets of the diving world series this season, led from the start and finished with their best dive of six for a total of 498.48 points.
It was Chen’s second gold in this event after winning at the 2015 worlds with Lin Yue. “The last time was a more relaxed competition,” Chen said.
Russia’s Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev, almost 40 points behind, came closest to the Chinese for the silver, and Germany’s first medal of the week went to third-placed Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein. The Germans equalled the record of three medals in this event at the worlds, after winning in 2013 in Barcelona and claiming silver in 2011.
“We couldn’t be more satisfied,” Hausding said.
Shi and Chang upheld China’s winning streak from Sunday. They also led from the first round and produced an almost-perfect forward 2-1/2 somersaults, one twist pike in the fifth for a total of 333.30.
It brought Shi her sixth gold medal in diving at the worlds and her fourth in this event.
Shi said: “First of all, I feel really happy we won this gold medal, and then I would like to mention that my partner is only 15 and (this) was her first (worlds), so I feel very happy for her.”
Melissa Citrini Beaulieu and Jennifer Abel finished with an inward 2-1/2 somersaults pike to claim Canada’s first medal of the championships, a silver, with 323.43.
Abel claimed a medal in this event at the previous three worlds, and her fourth made her the most decorated non-Chinese athlete in women’s 3-meter springboard.
“I didn’t know that, it feels great, and it was part of the plan. Every time I compete it’s to be on the podium,” Abel said.
In men’s water polo, Canada came from four goals down to draw with Montenegro 8-8, and Croatia beat the United States 12-7. Croatia is the only team to have won a medal at each of the last five worlds. Defending champion Serbia had no problems with a 21-5 rout of South Africa.