Ana Marcela Cunha arrived at the Tokyo Games with a collection of titles and frustrations. She had been elected the best athlete in the world in marathon swimming six times and the Bahian had won 12 World Championship titles. But until now, she had never done well in the Olympics.
This Tuesday (3), the swimmer finally won gold in the waters of the Odaiba marine park. Under a strong sun, she swam the entire time in the front platoon.
Ana Marcela was passed a few times, but with less than 2 km to go, she held the lead until the end.
Her strike to secure the gold, with minimal margin, mirrored the nickname she is known for: pit bull. "Finally. Like it or not, it was my fourth Olympic cycle. There was Beijing, a lack of classification, a frustration in Rio and a lot of maturity to get here," said the swimmer after the victory. She completed the 10 km course in 1h59min30s8.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon