Drew Kibler Rekindles Racing Intensity at FINA World Cup

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Drew Kibler Rekindles Racing Intensity at FINA World Cup

Drew Kibler is a racer.

But like any aspect of swimming, racing needs to be practiced.

Kibler learned that lesson the hard way at the 2022 FINA World Cup stop in Toronto, and it helped him turn things around at the Indianapolis stop – his home pool.

“The biggest thing I have learned is that racing takes a certain type of intensity that you have to practice. It was really tough in Toronto not having raced since Worlds. It was really fun to get back into that,” Kibler said. “It is huge to find the racing. I want to be able to stand behind the blocks and firmly believe that there is nobody doing what I am doing, in terms of preparation. I am getting closer to that to a place I can be really proud and really confident. If I can find a place of true confidence where I know I am not kidding myself, and I really believe it, that is a powerful place to be.”

Kibler won the bronze medal in the 200 freestyle in Indy (1:41.93), holding off Australia’s Kyle Chalmers for the final medal spot by four hundredths of a second.

“It is a super fun atmosphere racing a good group of guys. I had a lot of friends come out, too, so I wanted to swim well for them,” Kibler said.

He did that by finding his racing mojo again – and quickly.

“It is really not typical (to sharpen up quickly). It usually takes me six weeks to get remotely sharp,” said Kibler, who is now training with Carmel Swim Club, the program of his youth. “I think the biggest difference is mentally. It was really hard to get up to race in Toronto. I wasn’t really prepared but this week, I was a lot more aggressive and more confident and that was the biggest difference. I have never been this fast in season. I am learning how to rely on my training. It leads to confidence and better racing.”

If the University of Texas product was this fast during the grind of the season when he was relearning to race on the big stage, that makes the future look pretty promising.

“I was able to shave down but I have not tapered. That makes me really excited for Short-Course Worlds,” Kibler said. “I have a really big plan in the works and Short-Course Worlds is the next step in that plan — to 2024.”


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