The 2009 FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit starts this weekend in Santos, Brazil. Dozens of international marathon swimming stars, including the 2008 FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup world champions Valerio Cleri of Italy and Angela Maurer of Germany, will compete. Angela, who finished a close fourth in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, is continuing her remarkable comeback after giving birth to her first child.
The first World Cup of the season will also feature São Paulo's favorite Ana Marcela Cunha (shown above), the 16-year-old who finished fifth in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, and her Brazilian teammate Poliana Okimoto who finished seventh at the Olympics (shown below racing against America's Chloe Sutton).
Nearly 80 athletes from 16 countries, including several Olympians, are expected to compete in the first race of the FINA World Cup season for money and points.
Additionally, over 1,000 swimmers are expected in the Maratona Aquática Internacional de Santos (International Aquatic Marathon of Saints) in the amateur races that are part of the festive World Cup event. There will be amateur 1K, 2K and 4K races in addition to the 10K. The 2K starts at 8:30 am, the 4K at 8:50 am, the women's pro 10K starts at 10:10 am, the men's pro 10K starts at 10:15 am and the 1K starts at 10:20 am.
Busy times on a Brazilian beach.