Courtesy of FINA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The hard work keeps paying off for Ana Marcela Cunha who won her seventh FINA series title on Friday.

The two-time Olympian and recently inducted International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer won the 2018 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title after finishing third to Arianna Bridi and Rachele Bruni in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

The Brazilian won her fourth FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title after winning in 2010, 2012 and 2014. She also won three FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series titles – in 2011, 2015 and 2017.

While Bridi captured her the second World Series victory of the year after a win in Seychelles, Cunha knew she just had to keep things close to continue her winning ways on the FINA professional marathon swimming circuits.

Bridi described her tactics on her fifth race on the 2018 circuit, “My tactics was to stay as much as possible in the pack, and then push faster in the last [one] kilometer. It worked quite well and I even managed to arrive comfortable to the finish. Open water races are today very tight, so I was happy to get some advantage in the final meters.”

Her Italian teammate Bruni finished second in the 2018 overall series rankings with 2016 Olympic marathon swimming champion Sharon van Rouwendaal third.

Cunha said after the race, “I have done a very regular season, so this is a happy conclusion of it. I couldn’t be on the podium in all races, but this is of course a very positive outcome. This is a year without [a FINA] World Championships, so this is the main competition for us. Now, it’s time to take a short break and to prepare for 2019, where we will have the FINA World Championships in Korea. We will be in all individual events, plus the team, so we hope we can do well, and, who knows, get a fourth title in the 25 km. Then, the Olympic Games, however I like to think about the upcoming goals once at the time. But I am quite optimistic.”

Results:
1. Arianna Bridi (Italy) 2:00:21.80

2. Rachele Bruni (Italy) 2:00:25.70
3. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 2:00:26.20
4. Esmee Vermeulen (Netherlands) 2:00:26.40
5. Aurélie Muller (France) 2:00:27.00
6. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 2:00:27.40
7. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 2:00:28.40
8. Giulia Gabbrielleschi (Italy) 2:00:30.50
9. Martina de Memme (Italy) 2:00:32.30
10. Leonie Beck (Germany) 2:00:35.90
11. Maria de Valdes Alvarez (Spain) 2:00:37.30
12. Lara Grangeon (France) 2:00:39.70
13. Oceane Maryse Jeannie Cassignol (France) 2:02:24.30
14. Viviane Jungblut (Brazil) 2:02:26.70
15. Muran Tian (China) 2:03:52.80
16. Lisa Pou (France) 2:04:02.40
17. Yawen Hou (China) 2:04:03.50
18. Xin Xin (China) 2:04:04.10
19. Adeline Furst (France) 2:04:16.50
20. Lea Boy (Germany) 2:04:16.90
21. Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador) 2:04:20.10
22. Caroline Laure Jouisse (France) 2:04:23.10
23. Morgane Dornic (France) 2:04:26.20
24. Alice Dearing (Great Britain) 2:04:26.80
25. Sofia Kolesnikova (Russia) 2:04:30.20
26. Sarah Bosslet (Germany) 2:04:37.20
27. Svenja Zihsler (Germany) 2:05:01.50
28. Michelle Weber (South Africa) 2:05:04.80
29. Minami Niikura (Japan) 2:05:27.40
30. Xu Chu (China) 2:08:12.50
31. Ane de la Fuente (Spain) 2:08:12.70
32. Danielle Huskisson (Great Britain) 2:08:14.00
33. Alena Benesova (Czech Republic) 2:08:14.30
34. Stephanie Horner (Canada) 2:09:02.70
35. Valeriia Ermakova (Russia) 2:11:07.10
36. Vasiliki Kadoglu (Bulgaria) 2:11:48.90
37. Krystyna Panchishko (Ukraine) 2:13:05.00
38. Justyna Dorota Burska (Poland) 2:13:39.30
39. Carla Goyanes Garcia (Spain) 2:13:55.00
40. Karolina Balazikova (Slovakia) 2:14:18.40
41. Tsz Yin Nip (Hong Kong) 2:16:04.70
42. Cho Ying Wong (Hong Kong) 2:18:47.50
43. Nada Ahme Yassin Mohamed (Egypt) 2:18:51.20
44. Pac Tung Nikita Lam (Hong Kong) 2:24:14.90
45. Sheung Wai Ho (Hong Kong) 2:24:32.30
46. Kathriana Gustianjani (Indonesia) 2:25:11.00
DNF Reem Mohamed Hussein Elsa Kassem (Egypt)
DNF Angelica Maria (Portugal)
DNF Adela Sehonamin (Indonesia)

Cunha was also nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. To vote for the WOWSA Awards among the following 2018 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees, visit here.

World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees:
1. Aleksandra Bednarek (Poland)
2. Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic)
3. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
4. Barbara Pozzobon (Italy)
5. Caroline Block, Ph.D. (USA)
6. Eilís Burns (Ireland)
7. Hania Bakuniak (Poland)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Nadezhda Dudina (Russia)
10. Oksana Beletskaya (Russia)
11. Paula Selby (USA)
12. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
13. Rondi Davies, Ph.D. (USA)
14. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands)
15. Teruko Onuki (Japan)

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