Remarkable.  Impressive.  Ana Marcela Cunha Does It Again, Winning Her 5th 25K World Title

Remarkable. Impressive. Ana Marcela Cunha Does It Again, Winning Her 5th 25K World Title

When FINA first added open water swimming as a discipline at its 1991 World Championships, the 25 km marathon swim was the only race on its calendar (in Perth). The 25 km race was THE race.

As the sport has evolved over the decades, the 10 km distance (due to the quadrennial Olympic 10K Marathon Swim) was added and has surpassed the 25 km in terms of prestige and media attention.

But the 25 km remains the longest, and arguably the toughest, event at the entire FINA World Championships – of all disciplines.

Not only is the race long, but it is also tactical with the athletes constantly jostling within the packs. But if there is any consistency in the sport, it is the omnipresent Ana Marcela Cunha on the 25 km awards podium. The 30-year-old Brazilian juggernaut won her fifth 25 km world title (after winning 2011 in China, 2015 in Russia, 2017 in Hungary, 2019 in South Korea, and 2022 in Lake Lupa, Hungary) – a decade-long dominance over a sport that rivals her exploits with the pool dominance by Michael Phelps in the 400m individual medley and Katie Ledecky in the 800m freestyle.

Today she was pushed to the limit by two European rivals: Lea Boy who finished 8th in the 10 km race and Sharon van Rouwendaal who out-touched Ana in the 10 km race yesterday). After five hours, the time difference was only 0.30 seconds among the podium finishers, with Barbara Pozzobon only 1 second behind.

25 km Results:

  1. Ana Marcela Cunha (30, Brazil) 5:24:15.00
  2. Lea Boy (22, Germany) 5:24:15.20
  3. Sharon van Rouwendaal (28, Netherlands) 5:24:15.30
  4. Barbara Pozzobon (28, Italy) 5:24:16.30
  5. Caroline Laure Jouisse (28, France) 5:25:32.10
  6. Anna Auld (19, USA) 5:26:25.60
  7. Reka Rohacs (22, Hungary) 5:26:28.60
  8. Hanano Kato (22, Japan) 5:26:30.90
  9. Kensey McMahon (22, USA) 5:30:19.10
  10. Hanyu Cheng (16, China) 5:49:25.90
  11. Kexin Wang (17, China) 5:49:59.20
  12. Cibelle Jungblut (19, Brazil) 5:52:41.60
  • DNF Ruby Heath (22, New Zealand)
  • DNF Romina Soledad Imwinkelried (27, Argentina)
  • DNF Lisa Pou (23, France) DNS

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Steven Munatones