Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini earned Italy its first gold medal of the world aquatics championships by winning the mixed duet technical synchronized swimming competition on Monday in Budapest, Hungary.

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.

"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 claims mixed duet gold at aquatics worlds4:49

Bill May and Kanako Spendlove claimed bronze for the United States with 87.6682 points. Spendlove won four medals (one gold, three silver) at the worlds in 2003 and 2005 when she was representing Japan.

Canada's Rene Robert Prevost and Isabelle Rampling finished sixth with 82.3413 points.

Canada's mixed duet synchro team settles for 6th in Budapest4:36

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

The women's 3-metre springboard final and men's 10-metre platform final in synchronized diving were taking place later Monday.

With files from CBC Sports