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16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015
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Ana Marcela Cunha scoops gold in 25km marathon

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R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya
01.08.2015, 13:55 Sport
21 swimmers representing 13 nations came to participate in the marathon, the Brazilian athlete becoming the world champion in 5:13:47.3.

Strategy, strong will and good technique, these are the factors that help athletes who dare to swim a 25km race. The Kazanka Venue is likely to be the noisiest and the most joyful venue of the Championships creating the genuine festival atmosphere for the audience. Despite early hours on Saturday, the venue made a full house. It is hard to believe that since open water swimming was included on the event programme of the FINA World Championships in 1991, it has already seen so many epic victories and earned so many loyal fans.

Angela Maurer is the only one of the 25km medallists at Barcelona 2013 who is participating in the current World Championships. Back then she won silver with 5:7:19.8 whereas Italy and the USA whose swimmers finished first and third at the previous World Championships fielded two new swimmers each.

Among the top three finishers at the FINA World Championships in 2011 were Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (gold), Angela Maurer (silver) and Alice Franco of Italy (bronze).

Meanwhile, only five out of 13 countries fielded one athlete each: France, Kazakhstan, Spain, Argentina and Russia. One can only guess what burden of responsibility was lying on the shoulders of these girls. According to the FINA rankings, Russia’s Olga Kozydub was acknowledged as the world’s best female open water swimmer in 2013. The Russian swimmer left Martina Grimaldi, a 2013 world champion from Italy, behind with the difference of 700 votes in her favour.

The women’s 25km open water race was quite unpredictable and full of drama due to the fact that a lot famous swimmers were contenders for gold. After swimming 17.5 kilmetres, the competitors were swimming in the following order: the Brazilian swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha was leading the pack with 3:42:16.6, Finnia Wunram of Germany was second, Anna Olasz from Hungary was in the third position. After crossing the 20-kilometre mark, the Hungarian swimmer ended up in the leading position leaving behind Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Germany’s Angela Maurer who unexpectedly completed the list of top three contenders for the podium spots. Hungary and Brazil were only 2 seconds apart from each other. As for the Russian swimmer, she was in the 12th position at this time. Since the fight for gold was quite unpredictable no one dared to pin any hopes on the first three medallists. Results of the men’s 25km open water swim event were already known by this very time that’s why the audience’s unblinking attention was focused on the women’s final kilometres. Even being exhausted by that time, Hungary’s Anna Olasz did not even consider losing to Brazilian swimmer Ana Cunha who looked quite strong and unrelenting. Despite the exciting and pretty tough fight, Ana Marcela Cunha eventually grabbed gold with Anna Olasz taking silver and Angela Maurer having a narrow defeat and ending up in the third place.

FINA Worlds 2015. Open water swimming.

Women. 25 km.

1. Ana Marcela CUNHA (BRA) – 5:13:47.3

2. Anna OLASZ (HUN) – 5:14:13.4

3. Angela MAURER (GER) – 5:15:07.6

Kazanka Venue. August 1

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships