Ana Marcela Cunha Finishes With Another World Title

Ana Marcela Cunha Finishes With Another World Title

Ana Marcela Cunha Finishes With Another World Title

Courtesy of FINA, Yeosu Expo Ocean Park, Gwangju, South Korea.

Ana Marcela Cunha had a busy schedule at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

5 km open water swim – gold medal
10 km marathon swim – qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
5 km Mixed Relay – led off Team Brazil
25 km marathon swim – won her fourth world title

She won her first 25 km world title in hot and humid conditions in the 32°C water in Shanghai, China in 2011, then followed that up with a second title in Kazan, Russia in 2015, and a third title in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2017.  Gwangju was rough and rainy, but it did not matter to Cunha who won her 11th career FINA World Championship medal.

Cunha said in her post-race interview, “I feel happy to have won this race and to have earned my second gold medal in these championships. Honestly, I came to win 3 medals in Korea; the colors of the medals didn’t matter.

I [won] three [medals] at the last world championships in 2017, winning the gold in the 25 km and a bronze in the 5 km and the 10 km events. It’s a pleasure to represent the Brazilian Navy since this started in 2016 before the Olympic Games in my country. They are very supportive of me in all of my travels around the world.

At the start of the race, I wondered whether the event would last the entire 25 km due to the rainy weather conditions and the problem with visibility. I had my doubts and then considered that maybe we would only swim past three hours and then the race would be called off. After three hours the race would be considered official, so I wanted to be sure if that happened, I was leading at the time. After 8 laps, I was ready to finish and to medal and I had no thoughts about the race being suspended. I was feeling really confident.

It was my strategy to go out easy but Lara (Grangeon) was pushing the pace a little faster than I expected. I didn’t mind dropping back a few times to let the others lead and do the work while I conserved my energy. I swam breaststroke only for a little and to see where the others were. Once I swam past the last orange buoy I started sprinting.”

Finnia Wunram of Germany was elated with her performance, “I am really really happy. My goal was to get a medal and a silver is great. The conditions were really hard, but I think we did our best. I trained a lot this year and I was confident this would be a really good world championships for me.”

Lara Grangeon of France said her podium swim, “I came here to qualify for the Olympic Games; it was a done deal, and when you see everyone [on the French team including] Logan, Aurélie, Marco, winning medals, it makes you want to do it.  We have a great staff that makes you want to fight for everyone and that’s what I did today. It was my strategy to swim very fast in the first lap. I swam the 5 km, the 10 km, the 5 km relay and the 25 km here, and also at the Europeans in Glasgow. Swimming those events in Glasgow gave me the confidence that I could swim all four of the events, and find my way to the podium.”

2019 FINA World Championships 25 km Results:
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 5:08:03.00
2. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 5:08:11.60
3. Lara Grangeon (France) 5:08:21.20
4. Lisa Pou (France) 5:08:28.40
5. Erica Sullivan (USA) 5:11:23.20
6. Anna Olasz (Hungary) 5:11:51.50
7. Arianna Bridi (Italy) 5:11:52.60
8. Onon Katalin Someneko (Hungary) 5:11:54.70
9. Katy Campbell (USA) 5:11:59.60
10. Samantha Arévalo (Ecuador) 5:12:22.10
11. Sofia Kolesnikova (Russia) 5:12:30.00
12. Lea Boy (Germany) 5:12:40.60
13. Barbara Pozzobon (Italy) 5:12:53.70
14. Luomeng Ren (China) 5:32:13.10
15. Lenka Šterbova (Czech Republic) 5:45:19.30
16. Fang Qu (China) 5:59:12.30
DNF Angelica Andre (Portugal)
DNF Anastasia Basalduk (Russia)
DNF Chelsea Gubecka (Australia)
DNF Karolina Balazikova (Slovakia)
DNS Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands)

Copyright © 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones