Ana Marcela Cunha

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Ana Marcela Cunha
Ana Marcela Cunha.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ana Marcela Jesus Soares da Cunha
Nationality  Brazil
Born (1992-03-23) 23 March 1992 (age 22)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Weight 65 kg (143 lb)
Sport Swimming
Event(s) Open water marathon

Ana Marcela Jesus Soares da Cunha (born March 23, 1992 in Salvador, Bahia) is a Brazilian swimmer, who specializes in the open water marathon.[1] She is considered one of the fastest professional open water swimmers in the world, winning numerous meets for the 10 km marathon at the FINA World Cup series.

At only 14 years old, she collected two gold medals at the 5 km and 10 km marathon, at the 2006 South American Games in Buenos Aires.[2]

In 2005, she was able to reach second place in Travessia dos Fortes (the most important competition of the aquatic marathon calendar in Brazil).[3] Subsequently, became champion in 2006 and 2011.[4]

Cunha qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, after placing tenth at the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville, Spain.[5] She became the youngest-ever swimmer to participate in the inaugural women's 10 km open water marathon, against a field of twenty-four other competitors, including her teammate Poliana Okimoto, South African amputee Natalie du Toit, British duo Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patten, and sixteen-year old American Chloe Sutton. Cunha finished in a close race for fifth place, with a total time of 1:59:36.8, approximately one second ahead of Switzerland's Swann Oberson, yet nine seconds behind winner Larisa Ilchenko of Russia.[6]

At the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, Cunha finished twenty-second in the 10 km marathon, with a time of 2:02:06.4. The following year, she reinforced her lead in the FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, by dominating all eight meets of the series.[7] Because of her repeated successes, Cunha was selected as FINA's best female open water swimmer of the year.[8]

She won the gold medal at the 5 km marathon tied with Andreina Pinto, at the 2010 South American Games in Medellín.[9] She also got the silver medal in the 10 km marathon.[10]

At the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, Cunha won the gold medal in the women's 25 km marathon, with a time of 5:29:22.9.[11] Despite of her first world championship success, Cunha nearly missed out of the final slot for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, as she placed eleventh in the 10 km marathon, with a slowest time of 2:02:22.2, four seconds behind Spain's Erika Villaécija García.[12] Cunha also placed seventh in the 5 km marathon with a time of [13]

In 2012, Cunha decided to withdraw from the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier, held in Setubal, Portugal, to focus on her competitive career for the FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit. She dominated the series by successfully defending her title for the second time, amassing a total of 160 points and four victories in eight different meets.[14]

At the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Cunha handed an entire medal haul for the Brazilians in the 5 km marathon, as she snatched the bronze in 56:44.4.[15][16] Three days later, she won the silver medal in the 10 km marathon, with her teammate Poliana Okimoto winning the gold medal.[17][18] Ending her participation, she was in the 25 km marathon, where she tried to defend her 2011 title, but finished in fifth place, 4 seconds of the race winner.[19]


  1. ^ "Ana Marcela Cunha". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Record number of 4,200 contestants". CBDA. November 24, 2006. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  3. ^ "Record number of 4,200 contestants". CBDA. November 24, 2006. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  4. ^ "Travessia dos Fortes gather over two thousand athletes in Copacabana". Globoesporte. March 31, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  5. ^ Munatones, Steven (3 May 2008). "FINA World Open Water Championships: Dreams Come True". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Women's Marathon 10km". NBC Olympics. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ana Marcela Cunha, Fran Crippen Win Cancun Stops of FINA 10K Marathon World Cup". Swimming World Magazine. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year". Open Water Source. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Organization denies appeal, and Ana Marcela divides Medellín's gold with Venezuelan". Globoesporte. March 24, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  10. ^ "In new duel against Venezuelan, Ana Marcela loses and is silver in the South American". Globoesporte. March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  11. ^ "No Olympics, but gold in the 25km". FINA. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Brasileiros decepcionam nos 10km da maratona aquática" [Brazilians disappointed in the 10km marathon swimming] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ana Marcela comes 7th in the 5km, and still will swim the 25km; Okimoto is 11th". Globoesporte. July 22, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  14. ^ "Spyridon Giannotis, Ana Marcela Cunha earn wins on FINA 10km World Cup". Swimming World Magazine. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "USA's Haley Anderson Captures 5K at Worlds". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  16. ^ Kempf, Andrew. "Anderson of US, Olympic champ Mellouli win 5K". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Poliana and Ana Marcela make history and won the gold and silver medals in the 10km". SPORTV. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.  (Portuguese)
  18. ^ "Results of the 10 km Marathon Swimming at 2013 Barcelona". OmegaTiming. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Ana Marcela can't win the second title in the 25km and stays out of the podium". UOL. July 27, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.  (Portuguese)

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