Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), among women, and Ferry Weertman (NED), in the men’s category, confirmed their overall win of the 2018 edition of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series, after the conclusion of the eighth and last leg of the circuit, on November 9 in Abu Dhabi (UAE). For the Brazilian star, this is her fourth win in the competition, after previous successes in 2010, 2012 and 2014. For the Dutch, 2016 Olympic champion in Rio, this is the first consecration in the competition.

Despite this achievement, both Cunha and Weertman were not the winners of the race in UAE. In the men’s field, Florian Wellbrock (GER) was the strongest of the field, touching home in 1h53m00s9. In a very close finish, he was followed by Gregorio Paltrinieri, from Italy, in 1h53m01s4, and by Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), bronze medallist in 1h53m01s7. It was the second victory for the German swimmer in 2018, after the gold in Lake Balaton (HUN), the fourth stop of the series. 

Jack Burnell (GBR), runner-up of the overall ranking before Abu Dhabi, was not so successful in the UAE capital, concluding 12th. However, this was enough to secure the second position of the season as Simone Ruffini (ITA), third overall, was slightly worse, touching in 13th.

Among women, Italy did the 1-2, with Arianna Bridi taking the gold in 2h00m21s8 and Rachele Bruni earning silver in 2h00m25s7. Cunha got the bronze in 2h00m26s2, completing a season that included gold in Hungary and in Lac St-Jean (CAN). For Bridi, 2017 overall winner of the series, this was the second success of the season, after being first in Seychelles. 

In the overall ranking, Bruni largely benefitted from this silver, as she had the same points as 2016 Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal before the Abu Dhabi rendezvous. The Dutch ace was only sixth in today’s race, thus having to content with the third overall place in the 2018 ranking.

74 male swimmers and 46 female competitors concluded the 10km race in Abu Dhabi. 

Medallists in Abu Dhabi (UAE):

1. Florian Wellbrock (GER), 1h53m00s9; 2. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 1h53m01s4; 3. Kristof Rasovszky (HUN), 1h53m01s7

1. Arianna Bridi (ITA), 2h00m21s8; 2. Rachele Bruni (ITA), 2h00m25s7; 3. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), 2h00m26s2

Calendar 2018

#1 - Doha (QAT) - March 17
#2 - Seychelles (SEY) - May 20
#3 - Setubal (POR) - June 9
#4 - Balatonfured (HUN) - June 16
#5 - Lac St Jean (CAN) - July 26
#6 - Lac Megantic (CAN) - August 11
#7 - Chun'An (CHN) - September 16
#8 - Abu Dhabi (UAE) - November 9