By Karen Price | July 17, 2017, 11:03 a.m. (ET)
Bill May and Kanako Kitao Spendlove pose with their bronze medals for synchronized swimming mixed duet technical at the 2017 FINA World Championships on July 17, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.

 

Synchronized swimmers Bill May and Kanako Spendlove won the bronze medal in the mixed duet technical event at the FINA World Championships on Monday in Budapest, Hungary.

They finished with 87.6682 points, while Manila Flamini and Giorgio Minisini of Italy won with 90.2979 points and the Russian duo of Mikhaela Kalancha and Aleksandr Maltsev took silver with a 90.2639. May and Spendlove’s position was unchanged from the preliminaries on Saturday.

Last month, the pair won gold in mixed duet at the Synchro America Open in May’s home state of New York. May won the mixed duet technical when it was first contested at the world championships in 2015 with then-partner Christina Jones, a 2008 U.S. Olympian. He also earned silver in the mixed duet free in 2015 with Kristina Lum Underwood, a 2000 U.S. Olympian.

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May, now 38, was a star in the sport in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but retired after he was unable to compete at the Pan American Games and Olympic Games due to his gender. He returned from a decade-long retirement for mixed duet’s world championships debut.

Spendlove won one gold and three silver medals while competing for Japan at the 2003 and 2005 world championships, as well as a silver medal at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 in the team event. She and May met while appearing in the Cirque du Soleil production of “O” in Las Vegas.

May and Spendlove next compete on Friday in the mixed duet free routine preliminaries.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.