TOKYO 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS – OPEN WATER SWIMMING
- August 4-5, 2021
- Oadaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, Japan
- SwimSwam Event Preview
- 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.