Two-time world medalist Bill May paired up with Japan’s 2004 Olympic medalist Kanako Kiato Spendlove to win gold in mixed duet at the Synchro America Open in his home state of New York on Saturday.
The Syracuse native, who won the same event at the 2015 world championships with U.S. Olympian Christina Jones, worked with Spendlove to light up the scoreboard with 176.4349 points. It was the first time since 1999 that he competed in his home state, and his family was there to watch at the Nassau County Aquatics Center in East Meadow.
May and Spendlove took a commanding seven-point lead in the technical portion of the competition on Friday before closing it out with a solid performance in the free final on Saturday.
Later in the day at the Nassau County Aquatics Center, another Team USA athlete found the podium in her home state. Buffalo native and 2016 U.S. Olympian Anita Alvarez worked in tandem with 17-year-old Victoria Woroniecki to take bronze in duet with a score of 168.3545.
Alvarez is the only returning U.S. Olympian in the sport from 2016 and is already making a splash internationally this season with new partner Woroniecki. The duo won two silver medals at April’s China Open and now have a bronze to add to the collection.
The Synchro America Open, which featured solo, duet and team routines, is part of the inaugural FINA Synchronized Swimming World Series and the only international competition in the sport held in the United States. More than 130 elite synchronized swimmers from 13 countries took part in the event, which served as a precursor to next month’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Stuart Lieberman covered Paralympic sports for three years at the International Paralympic Committee, including at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.