Two women, Ana Marcela Cunha and Viviane Jungblut, finished the 10K in the lead pack alongside the fastest male open water swimmers in Brazil at the Brazilian Open Water Championships on September 17th. The men and women started the race together, and Marcela Cunha and Jungblut made their way to the lead pack early on in the race. Marcela Cunha won the women’s race while, Jungblut took second. In the overall race, they finished 6th and 8th respectively.
Marcela Cunha is a two-time Open Water world champion and seven-time medalist, and Jungblut is the national record holder in the 400 and 800 SCM Freestyles and bronze medalist at the 2014 World Junior Championships. They were also the two members of the Brazilian World Championship Team in the 10K, where Marcela Cunha won the bronze medal.
This is not the first time Brazilian women have finished with men, or even won a race over men at high level open water races. Marcela Cunha and 2016 Olympic Open Water Bronze Medalist, Poliana Okimoto, have beaten men, including members of the Brazilian National Team, on several occasions. At a race in Guarujá last year, Poliana won the overall race, beating a field of some of the fastest male open water swimmers in Brazil.