Ana Marcela Cunha wins the 2022 Open Water Athlete of the Year award

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The award was presented by World Aquatics Vice President Sam Ramsamy at Seaside Momochi Beach Park as Cunha finished fifth in the 10km on Saturday. It is Cunha’s eighth time winning the award, and also the fifth year in a row.

Cunha was the top open water swimmer in 2022 by virtue of her 5km and 25km gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, along with her Marathon World Series overall win last year in which she two of the four 10km races to collect 2900 points and $37,500 USD in prize money. For her overall efforts, Cunha collects another $10,000 USD for earning the 2022 Athlete of the Year award.  

Cunha has also won seven gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships, dating back to 2011. She is approaching what would be her fourth Olympics in Paris next year if she is to qualify in the 10K. On Saturday she was two-tenths away from a bronze medal in the 10K as she will be racing the 5K on Tuesday.

Credit: World Aquatics

Pic Credit: Getty Images

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