Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha is Tokyo Olympic Champion in Women’s Open Water 10k

TOKYO 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS – OPEN WATER SWIMMING

  • August 4-5, 2021
  • Oadaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, Japan
  • SwimSwam Event Preview
  • Results
  • Race start times:
    • Women’s 10K, Wednesday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Tuesday US Eastern Time)
    • Men’s 10K, Thursday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Wednesday US Eastern Time

Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil timed her race perfectly en route to winning gold in the women’s 10k at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands and Kareena Lee of Australia finished second and third, respectively.

Cunha swam comfortably in the leading pack during the entire open water race, bouncing around between 5th and 2nd place. It wasn’t until the final kilometer that she kicked it into gear to overtake van Rouwendaal as the race leader. She increased her kick and tempo in the final 600 yards and sprinted to the finish.

The United States’ Ashley Twichell led the race for 6 of the 7 laps. At that point, she fell behind Leonie Beck of Germany and tried to ride off of her wave, but could not hold on until the end of the race. She touched, while teammate Haley Anderson moved up to 6th.

Cunha was the 2019 World Championships gold medalist in the women’s open water 5k and she was 5th in the 10k. None of the medalists from 2019 landed on the podium in today’s race. China’s Xin Xin was the 10k champion in 2019 and she finished 8th behind Anderson and Twitchell. Anderson was second in 2019 and Italy Rachele Bruni was third. She finished 14th in Tokyo.

Bruni was also the silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Van Rouwendaal claimed the title and Poliana Okimoto of Brazil won bronze. Cunha finished 10th in 2016. Okimoto did not compete at the 2020 Olympics. She announced in January that she and partner Ricardo Cintra would be having a child. They welcomed their child about four weeks ago.

Women’s Open Water 10k Top 8:

  1. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) – 1:59.30.8
  2. Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED) – 1:59.31.7
  3. Kareena Lee (AUS) – 1:59.32.5
  4. Anna Olasz (HUN) – 1:59.34.8
  5. Leonie Beck (GER) – 1:59.35.1
  6. Haley Anderson (USA) – 1:59.36.9
  7. Ashley Twichell (USA) – 1:59.37.9
  8. Xin Xin (CHN) – 2:00.10.1

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triclyde
1 month ago

How does the silver medalist have a better time than the gold medalist?

ACC
Reply to  triclyde
1 month ago

She can’t, it was a typo. Cunha was 1:59.30.8

Norman H Stevens
Reply to  triclyde
1 month ago

Look again. Silver medalist’s time was .9 seconds more. The object is to have a lower time.

Coach Chackett
1 month ago
  • Race start times:
  • Men’s 10K, Wednesday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Tuesday US Eastern Time)
  • Women’s 10K, Thursday @ 6:30AM (Tokyo time – 5:30PM on Wednesday US Eastern Time

What day is it? When are these races? Was it changed? I see women’s result.

John
Reply to  Coach Chackett
1 month ago

Women results were today for North America and men are tomorrow at 6:30 PM EST I believe

The White Whale
Reply to  Coach Chackett
1 month ago

Yeah, men are tomorrow (Thursday in Japan).

Last edited 1 month ago by The White Whale
DMSWIM
Reply to  Coach Chackett
1 month ago

Glad I wasn’t the only one confused by this. I kept reading it over and over to see what I missed.

LBSWIM
Reply to  Coach Chackett
1 month ago

It was published incorrectly on here. Either from the start, or maybe the schedule changed at some point !

Samesame
1 month ago

Kareena Lee! What a fighter. So tough.and her coach has been unwell I think but he’s got to be so proud. As is all of Australia! Quite a fast race overall

Last edited 1 month ago by Samesame
SHRKB8
Reply to  Samesame
1 month ago

Yep just brilliant, such a deserving athlete. Tactically superb today. 👏👏🎉🎉

BFS
1 month ago

Best OW swimmer in history!!!

Sam B
1 month ago

They welcomed their child about four weeks ago”- bittersweet but mostly: sweet

Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Can we please have a live recap going tomorrow?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

I watched the first hour and had a lot of things to comment on re:Rowdy’s commentary.

Hearing him say, “she’s not feeding” over and over again was unnerving, to say the least.

DLswim
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

I’m one of those that actually do not mind, and maybe enjoy Rowdy’s pool commentary, but he really doesn’t know much about open water and his commentary was really off the mark. The comments on feeding, going hard at the beginning to open a gap, the sprinting ability at the end of an 8:20 800 pool swimmer, etc. were really inaccurate. The co-commentator had no knowledge at all and was even worse. They should get someone more knowledgeable next time.

Drafter
Reply to  DLswim
1 month ago

I thought Rowdy was right on about the feeding. 84 degree water temp! You need fluids. The ones who fed more performed better.

DLswim
Reply to  Drafter
1 month ago

Not sure about that. I think Cunha skipped a several of the feeds too.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  DLswim
1 month ago

I’m watching all the replays of the pool stuff right now, and I mean, he’s better than whoever else NBC trotted out there – Van Dyken by a lot, has more reps than Beisel so sorta knows how to do it – but yeah, if I were an open water fan I would probably not be thrilled with him.

Carillo had even less of a clue, cannot believe that’s who NBC throws at the event. She would ask him fairly basic questions and he’d just go “idk.”

bigNowhere
Reply to  DLswim
1 month ago

I watched it on the NBC app via streaming. They have different commentators there, who are a lot better. I can’t at the moment remember who they are, but the woman sounds Australian.

I’m pretty sure she was also commentating on pool swimming for the streaming app. She was much better than any of the American commentators there as well.

Last edited 1 month ago by bigNowhere
Admin
Reply to  bigNowhere
1 month ago

Nicole Livingstone.

Roch
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

The worst for me was when he made jokes about the presence of lifeguards. These races have legitimate safety issues which he ought to be very aware of. Maybe he needs to be reminded of Fran Crippen?

bigNowhere
Reply to  Roch
1 month ago

Ouch. Yes, that’s a joke in very poor taste, given what happened to Fran Crippen.

In general open water is much more dangerous than pool racing and he really should know that.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Roch
1 month ago

Oh wow, I didn’t hear that. There are literally lifeguards for pool swimming at the Olympics! (I know because I stood next to a bunch of them for most of Rio prelims, lol.)

DLswim
Reply to  Roch
1 month ago

Yes, that was almost disrespectful. Fran Crippen might be alive today (perhaps) if there had been lifeguards trailing the swimmers on that fateful day in Dubai.

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Congrats to Sharon. She’s so strong in open water since she trains with Philippe Lucas.

Oli K.
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

What are you talking about?

Sharon trains in Magdeburg and is part of coach Bernd Berkhan’s group. Other members are Florian Wellbrock, Rob Muffels, Leonie Beck and Finnia Wunram.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Oli K.
1 month ago

Relax. I was not aware.
Thanks for the news.
Lucas convinced her to abandon the pool and focus on open water after London 2012. The move paid off. She has trained in France with Lucas during 7 years. Lucas help her win the gold in Rio.
She should have not left such a magician of coaching. That was a mistake.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

helped her

Aquajosh
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

She left Lucas a year ago, she trains in Magdeburg, Germany now with the same group Wellbrock trains with.

torchbearer
1 month ago

Finally Australia wins an open water medal!