On Wednesday in Tokyo, Brazilian swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha won the women’s 10-kilometer Olympic marathon swimming event.
In 1 hour, 59 minutes, 30.8 seconds, M. Cunha crossed the finish line first, nine-tenths of a second ahead of the defending champion, the Netherlands’ Sharon van Rouwendaal. With a time of 1 minute, 59 seconds, and 1.7 seconds, Van Rouwendaal placed second, winning silver.
With a time of 1 minute, 59 seconds, and 0.5 seconds, Kareena Lee of Australia took third place, earning bronze.
M. Cunha Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Earn Bronze
In her third Olympics, M. Cunha finally brought home a medal. After finishing 10th in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, she placed sixth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“We came here wanting this medal as badly as you do,” M. Cunha remarked. I told my coach, “It’s going to be incredibly tough for my competitors to win this race because I want it so much and I’m really well prepared.”
Haley Anderson of the United States of America placed sixth, and Ashley Twichell of the same country placed seventh.
During the First Five Laps of the Race
the lead passed back and forth between M. Cunha and Twichell before the American eventually fell to fourth.
On Lap 6, the top eight swimmers separated from the rest of the pack, and German Leonie Beck passed Brazilian swimmer M. Cunha to take first place.
In each set of four, they swam in parallel lanes, with the Brazilian quickly taking the lead and slapping the overhead timing device to secure victory.
“We are Latin people; we are hot, we are emotional people,” M. Cunha explained, “therefore I had to be really cold psychologically in the race to remain focused. That’s okay, though; I was expecting that.
“At first I was confused and thought, ‘Whoa,'” she admitted.
M. Cunha seemed unfazed by the sea life or the high temperatures. Quite the opposite of her Olympic debut in Beijing when she was just 16 years old. Thanks for reading our article M. Cunha Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.