“I wish diving wouldn’t be that close because it hurts,” said Cagnotto, a perennial runner-up who came up just shy of He’s winning score of 307.10. “Of course I am a little disappointed because I don’t know if I will have more chances like this to win a world championship.”
Wang Han of China took bronze with 297.75, while the US’ Deidre Freeman finished 11th.
Qin Kai and He Chong followed with a victory in men’s 3m synchronized springboard, giving China five of six diving golds so far. Russia’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov claimed silver, while Mexico’s Jahir Ocampo and Rommel Pacheco earned bronze.
The US duo, four-time Olympian Troy Dumais and Michael Hixon, settled for fifth.
Cunha barely missed qualifying for open water at the London Olympics, where the only events were at the 10km distance.
“In just two years, I have improved a lot,” she said. “Today I’m the second-best swimmer in the world, just behind another Brazilian athlete.”
Maurer, who turns 38 on Saturday, earned the sixth world medal of her long open water career, but the first in the 10km since 2003, when the championship also was held in Barcelona.
“I’m very surprised,” she said. “I did not plan today to get a medal.”
Defending Olympic champion Eva Risztov of Hungary led after the first two laps of the four-lap race and she was still in the mix going to the final sprint before fading to ninth.
According to Maurer, the key was negotiating the 90? turns, often while tussling with a dozen or more swimmers trying to do exactly the same thing.
“This race was more turning than swimming,” she said.