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Ana Marcela CUNHA
Sport Open Water Swimming
NOC Brazil   
GenderWomen
Born23 Mar 1992 in Salvador, BRA
Height1.64 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Santos, BRA
Occupation
Armed Forces Athlete
Languages
English, Portuguese
Higher education
Physical Education - University of Santa Cecilia [Unisanta]: Brazil
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age two, and got involved in open water swimming at age eight.
Why this sport?
"I always liked swimming outdoors - in rivers, at the beach. I always loved it."
Club / Team
Universidade Santa Cecilia [BRA] / Navy [BRA]:
Name of coach
Fernando Possenti [personal], BRA, from 2017
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the 10km event at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (ge.globo.com, 17 Dec 2021)
Hero / Idol
Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. (bandnewsfm.com.br, 21 May 2019)
Injuries
She underwent surgery to remove her spleen in October 2016 due to an autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with earlier that year. She took two months off before returning to full training in January 2017. (swimswam.com, 17 Jul 2017; uol.com.br, 21 Oct 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
Before major international competitions she likes to get a new hairstyle. (tokyo2020.org, 21 May 2020; uol.com.br, 26 Mar 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"When you have clear goals, it is easier to train and swim behind them. Therefore I believe in taking it step by step." (sesisp.org.br, 09 Sep 2014)
Awards and honours
In 2021 she received a medal from the president of Brazil in recognition of her performance as an armed forces athlete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (santaportal.com.br, 02 Sep 2021)

In 2021 she was named Open Water Swimmer of the Year by the Brazilian Olympic Committee [COB] for the ninth time. (olharolimpico.blogosfera.uol.com.br, 02 Nov 2019; mg.superesportes.com.br, 07 Dec 2021)

In 2019 she received the Braz Cubas Honour Medal of Merit in Santos, Brazil. (anamarcela.com.br, 16 Oct 2019)

In 2019 she was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame [IMSHOF]. (sportv.globo.com, 27 Mar 2019)

In 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 she was named Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by the International Swimming Federation [FINA]. (olimpiadatododia.com.br, 13 Mar 2021; tokyo2020.org, 21 May 2020; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 16 Oct 2018; fina.org, 02 Dec 2017; ge.globo.com, 16 Dec 2021)

She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Brazilian Olympic Committee [COB] in 2015 and 2018. (ativo.com, 19 Dec 2018; anamarcela.com.br, 18 Dec 2015)
Other sports
She competed in pool swimming at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Jan 2021)
Ambitions
To win gold in the 10km at the 2022 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and to complete a round swim of the English channel. (ge.globo.com, 17 Dec 2021; forbes.com.br, 03 Sep 2021)
Other information
MEDAL SEARCH
She made her Olympic debut in 2008 in Beijing but did not win her first medal at the Games until she claimed gold in the 10km event at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. "In 2008 I was 16 and I arrived at the Olympic Village where I saw [US basketball player] Kobe Bryant, [US swimmer] Michael Phelps, and [Brazilian swimmer] Cesar Cielo. My head was in another world. Sadly, I did not qualify in 2012. And in 2016 I had a problem during the race, but I hate giving excuses, and that was not a good day to win a medal. I came in the apex of my career [with gold at the 2020 Games in Tokyo]. It's not only the medal but the gold medal, something that I always wanted. The medal is the cherry on the cake." (olimpiadatododia.com.br, 30 Jun 2020; ge.globo.com, 17 Dec 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has established the Ana Marcela Institute in Brazil to promote open water swimming. "We want to spread the sport to various parts of Brazil. Our country is huge and has an infinite number of beaches and rivers. There is no shortage of places to practise water marathon." (tokyo2020.org, 21 May 2020; bandnewsfm.com.br, 21 May 2019)

NAVY
She represents the navy as a member of the High Performance Athletes Programme of the Brazilian Ministry of Defence. (santaportal.com.br, 02 Sep 2021; Facebook page, 20 Dec 2021)

 Competition Highlights
Pan American Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
7 2019 Lima, PER 800m Freestyle 8:48.33
7 2019 Lima, PER 1500m Freestyle 16:39.83
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2022 Budapest, HUN 25km 5:24:15.0
3 2022 Budapest, HUN 10km 2:02:30.7
1 2022 Budapest, HUN 5km 57:52.9
1 2019 Gwangju, KOR 25km 5:08:03.0
5 2019 Gwangju, KOR 10km 1:54:50.5
1 2019 Gwangju, KOR 5km 57:56.0
4 2019 Gwangju, KOR 5km - Team Relay 54:24.5
1 2017 Budapest, HUN 25km 5:21:58.4
3 2017 Budapest, HUN 10km 2:00:17.2
3 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km 59:11.4
6 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km - Team Relay 55:19.6
1 2015 Kazan, RUS 25km 5:13:47.3
3 2015 Kazan, RUS 10km 1:58:26.5
2 2015 Kazan, RUS 5km - Team Time Trial 55:31.2
3 2013 Barcelona, ESP 5km 56:44.7
5 2013 Barcelona, ESP 25km 5:07:23.4
2 2013 Barcelona, ESP 10km 1:58:19.5
11 2011 Shanghai, CHN 10km 2:02:22.2
7 2011 Shanghai, CHN 5km 1:00:46.7
1 2011 Shanghai, CHN 25km 5:29:22.9
22 2009 Rome, ITA 10km 2:02:06.4
26 2007 Melbourne, VIC, AUS 10km 2:13:17.6
World Series
Rank Year Venue Event Result
  2022   10km  
1 2022 Paris, FRA 10km 2:00:33.71
1 2022 Setúbal, POR 10km 2:09:29.80
3 2021   10km  
2 2021 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:58:19.3
1 2021 Doha, QAT 10km 2:01:30.3
1 2021 Eilat, ISR 10km 2:01:36.6
  2020   10km  
2 2020 Doha, QAT 10km 1:56:41.3
2 2019   10km  
1 2019 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 1:58:45.4
2 2019 Beau Vallon, SEY 10km 2:01:34.10
1 2019 Doha, QAT 10km 2:03:51.5
1 2019 Nantou, TPE 10km 2:02:37.6
1 2019 Ohrid, MKD 10km 2:11:38.4
2 2019 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 2:04:05.78
1 2019 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:41:12.01
1 2018   10km  
3 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 2:00:26.2
1 2018 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 2:05:53.10
2 2018 Beau Vallon, SEY 10km 1:58:32.60
4 2018 Doha, QAT 10km 2:02:26.8
1 2018 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 2:05:42.90
3 2018 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 2:06:23.50
7 2018 Setúbal, POR 10km 2:05:55.19
2 2017   10km  
12 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:53:14.0
2 2017 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:02:12.7
2 2017 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 2:04:24.9
1 2017 Lac-Mégantic, QC, CAN 10km 2:06:12.86
1 2017 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 1:37:29.2
5 2017 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:37:38.10
5 2017 Viedma, ARG 10km 2:12:18.11
3 2016 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:58:19.90
4 2016 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 2:00:11.62
1 2015 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 1:50:36.68
2 2015 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:05:25.70
1 2015 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 2:03:36
1 2014   10km  
3 2014 Cancún, MEX 10km 2:12:39
3 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:05:22.2
1 2014 Lac Magoc, QC, CAN 10km 2:06:41.83
1 2014 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 2:03:01.2
1 2014 Lac-Mégantic, QC, CAN 10km 2:28.03
1 2014 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 2:06:13.03
1 2014 Setúbal, POR 10km 2:03:52.2
3 2013   10km  
4 2013 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:02:58.6
4 2013 San Miguel de Cozumel, MEX 10km 2:09:43.50
1 2012   10km  
1 2012 Cancún, MEX 10km 2:09:14.78
1 2012 Eilat, ISR 10km 2:02:37.45
3 2012 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 2:02:13
2 2012 Lac-Mégantic, QC, CAN 10km 2:06:20.73
3 2012 Santos, BRA 10km 2:22:28.44
1 2012 Shantou, CHN 10km 1:58:12.90
6 2012 Viedma, ARG 10km 2:02:23
5 2011 Santos, BRA 10km 2:13:15.94
1 2010   10km  
1 2010 Cancún, MEX 10km 2:17:29.3
4 2010 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:10:48.38
3 2010 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 2:09:38.2
1 2010 Santos, BRA 10km 2:16:48.64
2 2010 Setúbal, POR 10km 2:16:31.8
9 2010 Shantou, CHN 10km 2:03:22.75
4 2010 Viedma, ARG 10km 1:58:35
2 2009 Annecy, FRA 10km 1:59:02.69
2 2009 Copenhagen, DEN 10km 2:05:29
7 2009 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 2:07:28.6
4 2009 New York, NY, USA 10km 2:05:25.9
4 2009 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 2:05:51.81
1 2009 Santos, BRA 10km 2:09:49.10
4 2009 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:42:52.20
4 2009 Shantou, CHN 10km 2:12:57.76
3 2009 Varna, BUL 10km 2:16:07.57
3 2008   10km  
4 2008 Cancún, MEX 10km 2:02:08.76
9 2008 Dubai, UAE 10km 1:56:39.85
3 2008 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 1:52:24.8
5 2008 Santos, BRA 10km 2:04:18.00
1 2008 Setúbal, POR 10km 2:06:04
6 2008 Shantou, CHN 10km 2:13:40.56
2 2008 Singapore, SGP 10km 2:16:25.09
16 2007   10km  
Pan Pacific Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2018 Tokyo, JPN 10km 2:08:27.0