Like all of her other 19 victories, the race was not easy.
At the 5 km mark,Cunha pushed the pace and led a five-woman breakaway, but about hal way around the third lap, Sarah Bosslet of Germany led a four-woman chase group back into the mix. The nine women hung together until early in the final lap when Cunha and Samantha Arevalo led a four-woman break and paced each other stroke-for-stroke while Stephanie Horner drafted behind Aravalo and Viviane Jungblut drafted directly behind Cunha.
Horner and Jungblut were so physical with each other that their physicality led to repeated whistles from the referees ordering them to separate. In the final turn, Jungblut got the better of Horner by taking the inside course around the turn buoy and out-sprinting the 2016 race winner.
The top three women came in together – fast – to the finish.
Cunha admitted later that she didn’t follow her race plan developed by her coach Fernando Possenti “to go in front without all this emotion and all this adrenaline in the end.”
Cunha said, “It was a slow race, so I tried to do a different race after the third lap, but the other swimmers caught me and slowed it down again.”
Second-place Jungblut, who placed third in 2017, discussed her finish and physicality with Horner, “I had too much water inside my goggles and I couldn’t see exactly correctly the touch. [Horner and I] were fighting to stay in the legs of Ana Marcela and we both wanted the same place. I got it, but I was in a better position. I was inside the turn. I did a shorter line with more speed.”
Third-place Arevalo said she felt that her finish “was good because I felt very strong. I swam the best I could for the last 100 meters. I feel a lot of respect for Ana. She swims with a lot of tranquility in her own way so I felt at peace with that.”
Cunha and Jungblut will compete at the upcoming Pan Pacific Championships in Japan where they will face a pair of top Americans – Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell on August 14th in Chiba Prefecture, just east of Tokyo.
FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Series #5 Women’s Results
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 2:05:42.9
2. Viviane Jungblut (Brazil) 2:05:43.2
3. Samantha Arevalo Salinas (Ecuador) 2:05:43.3
4. Stephanie Horner (Canada) 2:05:50.9
5. Caroline Jouisse (France) 2:06:03.0
6. Svenja Zihsler (Germany) 2:06:14.90
7. Sarah Bosslet (Germany) 2:06:26.40
8. Julia Lucila Arino (Argentina) 2:06:36.20
9. Betina Lorsheitter (Brazil) 2:08:05.30
10. Romina Soledad Imwinkelriel (Argentina) 2:13:52.10
11. Andrea Terriault (Canada) 2:15:53.70
12. Alexandra Bougie (Canada) 2:16:47.30
13. Heidi Ullrich (Canada) 2:18:02.80
14. Sandra Frimerman-Berguist (USA) 2:18:08.10
15. Mia Desjarlais (Canada) 2:21:59.10
OTL Dania Belisle (Canada)
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