Nine medals, five of them gold, in the last Central American event of Barranquilla 2018, place her on the top of swimming
Eighteen tests in just six days awaited the talented Mexican swimmer Liliana Ibáñez, in the days before the Central American and Caribbean Games that were held in the Colombian city of Barranquilla between July 19 and August 3. The Mexican, also known as the "Iron Lady", had to overcome 9 eliminatory to reach the final 9 and she achieved it. But that was not all. She won medals in all competitions.
Leer en español: Liliana Ibáñez: la imparable nadadora mexicana
The portal amqueretaro.com reflected days before Ibañez, had many hopes for the appointment of Barranquilla. The aforementioned medium even made the comparison with the Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, considered the "Iron Lady" of this sport for her multiple Olympic medals, world medals (of stages of World Cups, and European championships), as well as for her active fight in the rights of swimmers in the world. They were not wrong with the expectation. "Physically I prepared myself for that and I know it's going to be a marathon more mental than physical; for that reason, what I have trained the most is the mind, " the athlete said to the aforementioned portal.
Ibáñez studied between 2010 and 2014 at the University of Texas A & M, and since then she earned the praise of his trainer Steve Bultman, who assured according to amqueretaro.com that the Mexican was the one who tested the most in the championships of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NCAA). Since then he showed an extraordinary physical condition. Bultman only said: "You have to be strong mentally and have a better time than the previous day."
Only she is capable
Yes. She won 9 medals, 5 of them gold, but still, not everything was perfect for Ibañez in Barranquilla. Her body collapsed from the demands of those days of competition, but once again her mental strength drove her to continue without stopping.
ESPN explains that in the 200m freestyle playoffs, Ibañez was third in his series, and less than half an hour later he had to compete in the 50m butterfly series, in which he also advanced to the final. The 27-year-old girl thought at that moment of giving up one of the two due to the fatigue she accumulated.
"I told the coach what to swim and he said: think about the 200 and 50 butterfly will come later, I made 200 in my best time since 2011 and with the adrenaline, I swam the other end", said the outstanding Mexican athlete after obtaining Two bronzes in 26 minutes.
But the best memories of Liliana in the Central Americans have nothing to do with the victories despite being the best athlete in this contest, but with a second place that gave her the silver medal in the 50 meters freestyle. "It's my favorite medal because I got the thorn of not finishing first and because the time of 25.15 seconds has a special meaning, I was 15 hundredths below 25, my goal of life," she says.
Discipline is the first rule
It was not her physical stamp, long limbs and a lot of corporal strength that gave Ibáñez the outstanding performance in Barranquilla. According to ESPN, it was her mind, because she has been trained with monk routines which she learned when she was overweight of 80 kilos. "I started to put rules such as 8 hours of sleep, yoga and meditation exercises, I did not meditate 8 hours like monks, but I did 10 minutes and I became more spiritual and focused," she confessed to the renowned international sports media.
To get gold in the 4 × 100 combined relay, 4 × 100 combined relay, 4 × 100 free relay, 4 × 100 mixed free relay and 4 × 200 free relay; silver in the 50 meters freestyle, and bronze in 100m free, 200m free and 50m butterfly, discipline is needed. Ibáñez was in Barranquilla a kind of Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "It was very difficult and difficult to win the nine competitions, but I am very happy with my performance, as well as that of the whole team, because 43 medals were achieved", declared to ESPN.
Esto.com points to the physical and personality characteristics of this girl, with bright eyes, and with a human warmth that all stand out. Ibáñez learned to cook and especially eat healthy, attached to a discipline in which she does not consume food outside the home, managing to place the balance at 59 kilos to compete in an optimal state against her rivals. Let no one be surprised if she manages to compete in a final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Se confessed to Esto that at the moment she does not know how the year will end since she has not yet made her calendar of remaining competitions. "For the time being, to rest, because the Barranquilla Games were tough, after focusing on the Pan American Games Lima 2019 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," she said.
Being a high-performance athlete has forged Liliana as a human being, not only in sports since she already has a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a greater objective: to complete a doctorate at Harvard University. Something that she defines as: "The Olympic Games of the academy" , according to Sin embargo.com.
The same page indicates that the native of Guanajuato has already accumulated 14 years as a high performance athlete, a cycle in which she has been selected to participate in the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, Central American Games, World Camps and in which she has obtained up to 11 records. Nationals
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from: 'Liliana Ibáñez: la imparable nadadora mexicana'