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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Ana Marcela Cunha Enters International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Ned Denison, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

When Ana Marcela Cunha of Bahai, Brazil walks into a call room at an international open water swimming competition, heads turn.

The 26-year-old from Bahai is - and always has been - a threat to win any race of any distance from 400 meters to 25 km and certainly to stand proudly for Brazil on the podium.

Her prolific career - that may continue for at least over the next two Olympic quadrennials covering the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2024 Paris Olympics - has been honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Today, Ned Denison, chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, announced her induction as a member of its Class of 2019 as an Honor Swimmer.

"It is a recognition that is very well-deserved given her 11-year career on top of the international open water swimming world," observes Steven Munatones. "She will be in the mix at the end of every race she competes in. She has a competitive fire that is palpable. Her success in the water buoyed by her contagious smile and sunny personality on dryland where she is an outstanding ambassador of the sport. She can feel the joy she experiences in training, at competitions, and in post-race interviews."

Her honors are numerous:

* 2015 Brazilian Athlete of the Year
* FINA Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2010
* FINA Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2014
* FINA Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2015
* FINA Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year for 2017
* International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer, Class of 2019
* 2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nomination
* 2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nomination
* 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nomination
* 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nomination
* 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nomination
* 2010 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title
* 2012 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title
* 2014 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title
* 2011 FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series title
* 2015 FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series title
* 2017 FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series title

In addition to finishing fifth in the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing and 10th in the 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Rio de Janeiro, she has won a total of 10 medals at the FINA World Swimming Championships including Brazil's first open water swimming FINA World Championships medal:

* 5 km bronze at the 2010 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championship in Canada
* 25 km gold at the 2011 FINA World Championships in China
* 10 km silver at the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships in Spain
* 5 km bronze at the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships in Spain
* 25 km gold at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia
* 5 km team pursuit silver at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia
* 10 km bronze at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia
* 10 km bronze at the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships in Hungary
* 5 km bronze at the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships in Hungary
* 25 km gold at the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships in Hungary

On the FINA professional marathon swimming circuits, she won the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. She won the FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series in 2011, 2015 and 2017. Cumulatively, she has won a total of 42 medals on the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series and FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series circuits, ranging in races from Brazil and Canada to Hong Kong and Hungary.

Those podium finishes have been in Balatonfüred (Hungary), Qiandao Lake (China), at the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean (Canada), Setúbal Bay (Portugal), at the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli (Italy), Mahé (Seychelles).

Domestically in her native Brazil, she has been equally dominant winning the Rei e Rainha Do Mar (King and Queen of the Sea) in Rio de Janeiro, Travessia Mar Grande Salvador, Campeonato Brasileiro de Aguas Abertas Brasilia in Lago Paranoá, Brasília.

Other international successes have been achieved at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the South American Games where she won gold medals in the 5 km and 10 km races at the 2006 Buenos Aires South American Games, the 5 km race at the 2010 Medellín South American Games, and the 3 km team pursuit at the 2014 Santiago South American Games, a silver medal in the 10 km race at the 2010 Medellín South American Games, and a bronze medal in the 10 km race at the 2014 Santiago South American Games.

Her International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame recognition in Portuguese is below:

Ana Marcela Cunha – Nadadora honrada

Ana Marcela Cunha do Brasil conquistou um total de seis medalhas solo no Campeonato Mundial de Natação da FINA: três ouros nos 25 km em 2011, 2015 e 2017; uma prata nos 10 km em 2013 e dois bronzes nos 10 km em 2015 e 2017. Ela também conquistou um total incrível de 42 medalhas nos eventos da FINA World Series. Ana continua sendo uma nadadora dominante, em todas as distâncias, em 11 anos de competição elite na FINA. Suas principais premiações incluem: melhor nadadora de águas abertas em 2010, 2014, 2015 e 2017; campeã do Circuito Mundial 10 km em 2010, 2012 e 2014 e campeã do Circuito Mundial 25 km em 2011, 2015 e 2017. Em 2014, Ana bateu o recorde nos 36 km de Capri Napoli com 6 horas 24 minutos 47 segundos. Os tempos de nenhuma outra nadadora chegam perto de 5 minutos do recorde dela. Nas Olimpíadas ela ficou em 10o lugar em 2016 e 5o em 2008. Ana continua treinando para as próximas Olimpíadas. Embora sua indução seja baseada somente na sua carreira como nadadora de maratona solo (definida como 10 km ou mais), ela também conquistou orgulhosamente quatro outras medalhas no Campeonato Mundial da FINA na distância de 5 km e também no revezamento.













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