Ana Marcela Cunha took, this Saturday, an important step in search of a second Olympic championship. With just under six months to go before the Olympics, the current Olympic champion came in fifth place in the 10km water marathon at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar. With this, the Brazilian has stamped her passport for Paris 2024 in open waters and will be joined by her compatriot Viviane Jungblut, who inherited the place of host country thanks to the good performance of the French swimmers in Doha.
Watch the finish of the 10km water marathon at the Doha World Water Sports Championship
– Brazil will be very well represented. The more Brazil the better. Our rivalry is very healthy. Having two representatives means a better chance of a medal. The most important thing is to know that we are in, a new opportunity to arrive in Paris and be able to make history. Now I will have six months at home to be able to continue training and competing. I am really happy. Here we are for one more. And again I hope to close with a flourish – said Ana Marcela.
The sportv channels broadcast live the main competitions of the Doha Aquatic Sports World Cup. This Sunday, at 4:30 am (Brasília time), sportv 2 broadcasts the men’s 10km open water race.
The world title went to the Dutch Sharon Van Rouwendaal, Olympic champion in Rio 2016. The Spanish María Valdés took silver, and the Portuguese Angélica André completed the podium.
Ana Marcela celebrates her place in the Olympics: “I hope to finish with a flourish”
Viviane Jungblut came in 14th place. There were just 13 Olympic spots up for grabs in Doha, but France placed its two swimmers in the top 13 and opened up a 14th World Cup spot through relocation. The Brazilian inherited the position.
WORLDWIDE FOCUSING ON PARIS
The swimmer will be present in three water marathon events at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships, which began this Friday, in Doha, Qatar. In addition to the 10km (Olympic race) held this Saturday, she will be in the 5km and the 4×1,500m mixed relay.
In this Saturday’s race, Ana Marcela spent almost the entire race in the middle of the first pack, but without pushing for the lead. She grew in the last lap, moved up positions and almost reached the podium.
– We say it like this: “Don’t risk anything”. Medal doesn’t matter. If it comes, fine. Because the objective was to classify. She swam very well. I saw that she controlled the situation and did exactly what we had planned. In the end, it was Ana Marcela. She did it. Now it’s time to look forward – said Italian Fabrizio Antonelli, the Brazilian’s coach.
In addition to winning the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and being part of the record books (as the biggest winner of the Fina World Circuit in the 10km race, with 20 victories), Ana Marcela has 16 medals in World Championships on her CV.
Ana was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she finished fifth at just 16 years of age. For the London 2012 Games, she missed out on her Olympic place by just one place – she was 11th in the pre-Olympics which gave ten places in the Olympics. At Rio 2016, despite being one of the favorites, she came in 10th place. At her third Olympics, in Tokyo, she won gold.
ANA MARCELA’S MEDALS IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS