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Lewis Clareburt joins the F-Team

2 December 2019

 Lewis Clareburt
New Zealand's Lewis Clareburt has taken his place on the Funky Trunks F-Team as one of our newest athletes

The 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Games saw Lewis Clareburt debut on the international stage, but at the time he wanted more. Post Pan Pacs, Lewis headed back to New Zealand and under the guidance of coach Gary Hollywood worked towards his first meet outside of a junior competition - the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

After months of hard work, disappointment struck when Lewis was told he did not make the Commonwealth Games team. Just a few months before the event, however, Lewis was informed he would be making the trip and from that point onwards he stepped up to the challenge. As well as breaking a New Zealand record, Lewis came home with a bronze medal in the 400m IM.

Lewis Clareburt
Lewis Clareburt has his eyes set firmly on the prize

One year later, Lewis qualified for the 2019 World Champs in Gwangju, Korea. Going into this meet his goals were simple: trust the work he had done, and the rest would take care of itself. His morning race turned out to be quite emotional as Lewis swam under the qualifying time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, won a bronze medal and secured a spot on the national team. With his eyes set on Tokyo 2020, Lewis is sure to be one to watch. We had a quick chat to Lewis to find out more about our newest Kiwi F-Teamer.

What does a typical week of training look like for you?

For me a typical week of training includes ten swim sessions and three gym sessions to get the gains.

Do you have a favourite and a least favourite drill?

My favourite drill has to be fingernail drag because it is the easiest drill. This drill involves dragging just your fingertips through the water during the recovery of the freestyle stroke. It emphasises keeping a high elbow position.

Who is your coach and how long have you been training under him?

I am coached under Gary Hollywood and I have been with him since 2016. We train at Capital Swim Club, which is based in Wellington, New Zealand.

How did you get into swimming?

My older sisters were both swimmers, so I was destined to get into the sport as well. I enjoyed the grind so much, I stuck at it.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your swimming career?

The hardest challenge for me is swimming by myself. Unfortunately, due to New Zealand being so small it can be tough to always have people to train with you and I still face this challenge occasionally. It is the hardest thing to do mentally, even worse than a distance butterfly set.

What would you regard as your top three career highlights?

I would definitely consider the achievements above as my best to date but I don't think I have had my top three career highlights just yet...

Do you have any pre-race rituals?

I normally blast music through my headphones to try and distract myself from thinking about how much pain I am going to be in during the 400m IM.

What are your interests outside of swimming?

Sleeping or eating anything to do with peanut butter.

What are you aiming to do once you have finished your degree?

Good question, hopefully I will still be swimming and won't need to think about getting a job. After my swimming career has finished, I hope to be able to give back to athletes coming through the same pathway as I did and help them to fulfil their dreams.

Is your family involved in sport at all, if so how?

Both of my older sisters used to swim but have both since retired. They are now my biggest fans alongside Mum and Dad who love watching me compete.

Are you a cat person, or a dog person?

100% a dog person.

Do you have a rest day, if so, what would you typically do on your rest day?

Sunday is my rest day and it usually consists of not getting out of bed before lunch time (unless I'm dying of hunger) and then spending the rest of the day doing a whole lot of nothing and being low key. That's my dream day.

Do you swim race-pace often?

Yup we do quite a lot of race pace during training, but it all depends on what training cycle we are in. At this time of the season we are doing a lot more work on stroke rates and trying to improve that area of my race.

What have your sisters taught you about swimming? Do you still look to them for advice?

Both my sisters were (and still are) super hard working and focused. So, I think they taught me that hard work gets results.

What are some of your favourite tunes to listen to pre-race?

Anything that is HYPE! This ranges from anything from Travis Scott to some Kiwi artists to bring a slice of home.

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