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Bill May, Kanako Spendlove capture first American medal at worlds

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Bill May and Kanako Spendlove claimed bronze in the mixed duet technical synchronized swimming competition on Monday, earning the United States' first medal of the world championships.

"I feel amazing. I'm not disappointed with this bronze medal at all," said May, who won gold in the same event at the 2015 worlds. "I'm happy with my result and with other performances."

Spendlove won four medals (one gold, three silver) at the worlds in 2003 and 2005 when she was representing Japan.

Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini earned Italy its first gold medal of the world swimming championships by winning the event.

Minisini and Flamini finished with a total of 90.2979 points, edging Russia's Mikhaela Kalancha and Aleksandr Maltsev by just 0.034 of a point. The Americans had 87.6682 points

"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 synchronized swimmer Anastasia Ermakova, and dedicated to the huge numbers of migrants arriving on the Italian island between Sicily and Tunisia every year.

"Italy had two bronze medals in Kazan. But we wanted to be better," Minsini said of the last worlds in Russia. "Every day of the year we worked hard to get on the top. It was very important for us."

Their win brings Italy's medal tally at the worlds to one gold, one silver and three bronze.

Chinese domination of diving continued at the world championships with gold in the women's 3-meter springboard and men's 10-meter platform synchronized finals.

Shi Tingmao and Chang Yani won the team's ninth straight world title in women's 3-meter springboard synchronized diving, then Chen Aisen and Yang Hao delivered China's fifth gold of the championships in the men's 10-meter.

Chen and Yang, who won all four meets in 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 Yang Hao.

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 latter equaled the record of three medals in this event at the worlds, after winning in 2013 in Barcelona and claiming silver in 2011.

Shi and Chang upheld China's winning streak from Sunday. They also led from the first round and produced an almost-perfect forward 2½ 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.

Melissa Citrini Beaulieu and Jennifer Abel finished with an inward 2½ somersaults pike to claim Canada's first medal of the championships, a silver, with 323.43.

Kristina Ilinykh and Nadezhda Bazhina won the bronze for Russia, its first of the championships and sixth at the time. Bondar and Minibaev made it seven later Monday.

Canada came from four goals down to draw with Montenegro 8-8, while the United States lost its opening match of men's water polo at the world championships on Monday.

Croatia, the only team to have won a medal at each of the last five worlds, defeated the United States 12-7 in Group D, where Russia beat Japan 15-8 in the late match.

Three-time champion Hungary got the home fans cheering by beating Australia 13-3, and Italy defeated France 18-9 in the other Group B game.

Defending champion Serbia routed South Africa 21-5 to begin its campaign in Group C, where Greece almost let a three-goal lead slip against Spain before winning 8-7.

Also, Brazil beat Kazakhstan 6-2 in Canada's Group A.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.