Podium finishers Rachele Bruni (Italy), Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador) shown left to right

Ana Marcela Cunha, Rachele Bruni Swim To Photo Finish In Setúbal

Courtesy of FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series, Setúbal Bay, Portugal.

It was the same ol’ same ol’ for Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha yesterday in Portugal.

Bioprene or neoprene, freshwater or saltwater, tranquil or turbulent waters, 5 km or 25 km, Cunha has proved herself to be competitive in all situations against the world’s fastest open water swimmers.

Swimming in a wetsuit at the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series race in Setúbal Bay, Cunha was always in the hunt in the current-friendly coastal waters, but it was a tough fight against long-time rival Rachele Bruni of Italy.   So tough that it came down to a photo finish where Cunha and Bruni were given the exact same time.  But after repeated reviews of the replays of the race video from three cameras, the FINA officials ultimately decided that Cunha was the winner.

Like the men, most of the athletes opted to swim in wetsuits with the water temperature at 19°C.

Cunha said, “This was the first time I felt that I raced well in a wetsuit. Today I tried to swim more in the front of the group, like I did in the Seychelles. I came here because I want to keep racing right up to the World Championships.”

Bruni, who also has her eyes on the upcoming FINA World Championships in July where she wants to qualify for her second Olympics, said, “I’m very happy with the race, the race was harder than normal with the wetsuit. It was a very fast finish, it was a good clean finish as we didn’t clash at all when we were coming into the finish.

I’m looking forward to the World Championships which are coming up in less than a month, the World Championships is also our qualification for the Olympic Games so I really want to win a medal at the Championships.”

Mostly everyone was flying more than usual throughout the race with favorable currents in the 5-loop course that made the cumulative time for the athletes at least 15 minutes faster than normally expected.

Official Results:

  1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 1:41:12
  2. Rachele Bruni (Italy) 1:42:12
  3. Samantha Arévalo (Ecuador) 1:41:18
  4. Arianna Bridi (Italy) 1:41:19
  5. Angélica André (Portugal) 1:41:19
  6. Carolina Jouisse (France) 1:41:20
  7. Cecilia Biagioli (Argentina) 1:41:30
  8. Yumi Kida (Japan) 1:41:53
  9. Alejandra Arias (Peru) 1:42:17
  10. Maria Vilas (Spain) 1:42:49
  11. Minami Niikura (Japan) 1:43:33
  12. Betina Lorscheitter Martins (Brazil) 1:43:36
  13. Romina Imwinkelried (Argentina) 1:43:37
  14. Martha Aguilar (Mexico) 1:43:39
  15. Julia Arino (Argentina) 1:43:51
  16. Martha Sandoval (Mexico) 1:44:29
  17. Hitomi Okamura (Japan) 1:47:45
  18. Aide Sandoval (Mexico) 1:47:59
  19. Cátia Agostinho (Portugal) 1:48:06
  20. Nicole Valdivia (Chile) 1:48:12
  21. Mariana Mendes (Portugal) 1:48:21

The athletes will have it another go on June 15th in Balatonfured, Hungary.