Swimming World Presents “The 2019 Open Water Swimmers of the Year: Florian Wellbrock and Ana Marcela Cunha” – Sponsored By Kpaloa

Swimming World November 2019 Open Water Swimmers of the Year Florian Wellbrock and Ana Marcela Cunha

The 2019 Open Water Swimmers of the Year: Florian Wellbrock and Ana Marcela Cunha

By David Rieder and Dan D’Addona

Sponsored by

Kpaloa brand logo

Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Florian Wellbrock of Germany displayed their versatility in 2019 to be named Swimming World’s Open Water Swimmers of the Year.

Cunha captured the 5K and 25K at World Championships as well as the 10K at Pan Ams, while Wellbrock became the first swimmer ever to capture gold at a major international meet in both the pool and open water events when he won the 1500 meter freestyle and 10K at Worlds in Korea.

ANA MARCELA CUNHA
BRAZIL
Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year

After taking care of business with Olympic qualification in the 10K, Cunha put on a masterful performance at the World Championships in South Korea. Already a three-time gold medalist in the 25K event entering the meet (in 2011, 2015 and 2017), Cunha beat out France’s Aurelie Mueller by a second for gold in the 5K before defending her 25K title in an eight-second victory. In between those two wins, she also swam the first leg of Brazil’s 5K open water relay that ended up finishing fourth.

While plenty of swimmers bounce between the pool and open water, that’s not Cunha. The 27-year-old grew up swimming open water in her hometown of São Paolo, and she has never left that environment. Plenty of swimmers move toward open water because they sense opportunity, and in particular, many swimmers who race the grueling, five-hour-long 25K simply tolerate the event.

Not Cunha—that’s her favorite. She calls long distance her favorite part of open water swimming, and when asked for her least favorite part, Cunha replied, “Everything that is swimming in open water interests me very much.”


FLORIAN WELLBROCK

GERMANY
Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year

A month shy of his 22nd birthday, Wellbrock—Swimming World’s 2019 male Open Water Swimmer of the Year—won a thrilling battle in the men’s 10K, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes, 55.9 seconds—just 2-tenths ahead of France’s Marc-Antoine Olivier. Wellbrock’s teammate, Rob Muffels, took third, a second-and-a-half off the pace.

Eleven days later, he turned his attention to the pool and qualified second in the 1500 behind Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, who had won the 1500 at the Olympics in 2016 and the World Championships in 2014 (short course), 2015 and 2017.

The next night in finals, Wellbrock found himself in the middle of a three-way battle among himself, Paltrinieri (who led for most of the race) and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk. By 1,350 meters, Wellbrock was in third, but only 17-hundredths of a second separated the trio. The open water champ had the lead at 1,400 meters—about 3-tenths ahead of Paltrinieri and 4-tenths ahead of Romanchuk—and Wellbrock held on for a 14:36.54 win to Romanchuk’s 14:37.63 and Paltrinieri’s 14:38.75.

With the victory, Wellbrock became the first swimmer ever to capture gold at a major international meet in both the pool and open water events.

To read more about 2019’s Open Water Swimmers of the Year,
check out the November issue of Swimming World, out now!

SW November 2019 Florian Wellbrock Cover 800x1070

[PHOTO CREDIT: BECCA WYANT]

Get Swimming World Magazine and Swimming World Biweekly FREE When You
Become A Member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Want More? Subscribe With This Special 2-Year Offer!

New! 1-Year Digital Only Subscription for just $39.95 Order Now!

Non-Subscribers Can Download This Issue For Only $5.94

FEATURES

016 2019 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by David Rieder and Dan D’Addona
Female: Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil
Male: Florian Wellbrock, Germany

018 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019
by Dan D’Addona
The open water competition at the FINA Aquatics Championships commanded the sport’s spotlight for 2019. But many more open water highlights took place this past year—from Hawaii to Florida to Europe and East Asia. Here are Swimming World’s top five.

020 DOPING FOR GOLD
by Craig Lord
The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago in November 1989 opened the door that would eventually reveal East Germany’s systematic doping of an estimated 10,000 athletes over more than two decades.

023 MAKING A DIFFERENCE
by David Rieder
Through a constant drive for bettering herself, Simone Manuel has crafted a career for which she may eventually be remembered as the greatest American sprinter ever. But she has forever changed the sport, her impact reaching far beyond any medal she has won.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: THE SYDNEY 6
by John Lohn
At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, six American male teenagers broke through during their first Olympic foray and remained major players in the sport in the years ahead. The scenario that unfolded for Michael Phelps, Anthony Ervin, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Klete Keller and Erik Vendt could very well remain unmatched.

030 ISHOF: SWIMMER RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF BRITISH MILITARY’S GREATEST HEROES
by Bruce Wigo
Bernard Freyberg, a New Zealander who distinguished himself both in swimming and in war, used his expertise in swimming to perform one of the most heroic acts of World War I.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: DICK KIMBALL
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME THE BARRIERS TO IMPROVING TECHNIQUE
by Rod Havriluk
There are many barriers that make it difficult for any swimmer to improve technique. Fortunately, there are also very effective strategies to deal with these barriers. The first step is for the swimmer to stay mentally engaged for the duration of every training session.

038 SETON SWIMMING’S SAMPLE FOR SUCCESS
by Michael J. Stott
Jim Koehr, head coach of the Seton School swimming team in Manassas, Va., has devised an ideal model for a winning high school program.

041 Q&A WITH COACH SCOTT ARMSTRONG
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN NOAH CORBITT
by Michael J. Stott

JUNIOR SWIMMER

045 UP & COMERS: McKENNA STONE
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

013 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

046 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.