Brazil’s Cunha Captures Fifth World Title in 25K Open Water to Close Worlds


Open water world athletes in Budapest, Hungary competed in their final day of competition yesterday, June 30th. The athletes competed in the 25K open water after competing in the 10K a day prior.

The men’s race kicked off at 7:00 am and the women’s race kicked off at 7:10 am.

Brazil’s Ana Marcela de Cunha was in the front of the pack nearly the whole race. She went on to win the event in a total time of 5:24:15.0 earning her fifth title in the event. Cunha joined Michael Phelps, Katinka Hosszu, and Katie Ledecky as one of the only swimmers in open water and pool events to have ever won five world titles in the same event.

Finishing right behind Cunha was Lea Boy of Germany who swam a time of 5:24:15.2. Rounding out the top three was 10K champion Sharon Van Rouwendaal who finished in a time of 5:24:15.3. In total, the three were separated by only 0.3 seconds. This is notable as the women’s 50 freestyle top 3 in the pool event was separated by 0.4 seconds, and the women’s 100 freestyle was separated by 0.25 seconds at this year’s Worlds.

Cunha defends her World title in the event after winning the event in 2019. In 2019, both Boy and Van Rouwendaal were not on the podium.

Women’s Open Water 25K Top 8

  1. Ana Marcela de Cunha (Brazil): 5:24:15.0
  2. Lea Boy (Germany): 5:24:15.2 (+0.2)
  3. Sharon Van Rouwendaal (Netherlands): 5:24:15.3 (+0.3)
  4. Barbara Pozzobon (Italy): 5:24:16.3 (+1.3)
  5. Caroline Laure Jouisse (France): 5:25:32.1 (+1:17.1)
  6. Elea Linka (Germany): 5:25:36.7 (+1:21.7)
  7. Anna Auld (USA): 5:26:25.6 (+2:10.6)
  8. Reka Rohacs (Hungary): 5:26:28.6 (+2:13.6)

Winning the men’s 25K was Dario Verani of Italy. Verani captured gold in a winning time of 5:02:21.5. Verani used a strong second half going from 16th place at the half way to first at the finish in his win.

Not far behind Verani was Axel Raymond of France. Raymond finished in a time of 5:02:22.7, only 1.2 seconds behind Verani. Raymond won the event back at the 2019 World Championships.

Finishing in third was Peter Galicz of Hungary. Galicz had a strong finish going from seventh at the final split before the finish line. Galicz finished in a 5:02:35.4.

Men’s Open Water 25K Top 8

  1. Dario Verani (Italy): 5:02:21.5
  2. Axel Raymond (France): 5:02:22.7 (+1.2)
  3. Peter Galicz (Hungary): 5:02:35.4 (+13.9)
  4. Marcel Schouten (Netherlands): 5:02:46.7 (+25.2)
  5. Kyle Lee (Australia): 5:02:48.5 (+27.0)
  6. Lars Bottelier (Netherlands): 5:02:51.6 (+30.1)
  7. Matteo Furlan (Italy): 5:02:53.8 (+32.3)
  8. Akos Kalmar (Hungary): 5:03:52.1 (+1:30.6)


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4 months ago

Hall of Famer for sure. So dominant for so long.

4 months ago

Cunha just seems so brutally explosive when it counts at the end of these marathons. Props to all the swimmers completing a 25km but even more praise to any woman that can swim alongside her for 5hrs 24mins and get pipped at the finish by a fingernail… any other realm of time, Boy and Van Rouwendaal could undoubtedly create their own aura of invincibility among their competitors. What an amazing bunch of women.

Openwater racing really getting high quality competition in both the Mens and Womens side of the equation over the last number of years imo.

4 months ago

Top four women separated by 1.3 seconds after more than five hours of racing 😱. Overall, it was an amazing week of open water with some very high quality racing and close finishes. Hopefully we will see most of these swimmers in two years in Paris 🙂

My only complaint is that Worlds should have a more real open water circuit instead of just laps in a “big pool” 🤷🏻‍♂️

Sherry Smit
4 months ago

Dang, 25K. That’s 25000 meters of swimming. Kudos to all the people who attempted it

4 months ago


About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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