Ana Marcela Cunha Wins 10k Bronze After Post-Olympic Spleen Removal


Brazilian open water star Ana Marcela Cunha is no stranger to the podium. A two-time World Champion and six-time medalist, Cunha was preparing for the 2016 Olympics before getting a serious virus at the beginning of last year.

After being hospitalized for a few days, she soldiered on and did all the necessary training for Rio, but was frustrated with her 10th place finish.

Just a few days after the Olympics, Cunha had her spleen removed via surgery. She took two full months off, and only began serious training again in January. Just seven weeks ago she switched coaches, returning to Fernando Possenti with whom she trained with between 2013 and 2015, the most successful years of her career.

The disappointment of Rio and the struggle of returning to training post-surgery made her bronze medal on Saturday all the more sweet.

Cunha tied with Italian Arianna Bridi for the bronze medal in the women’s 10k in Budapest, just two tenths shy of silver.

Read the full Globo article, along with quotes from both Cunha and Possenti (in Portuguese), here.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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