Source: Me Next Magazine-Rajasthan Patrika (08-Sept-2018)

Rikako Ikee: A Japanese competitive swimmer

Rikako Ikee (born 4 July 2000) is a Japanese competitive swimmer. She is the national record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly, and the junior world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly long-course events, and the 50- and 100-meter butterfly, and 100-meter individual medley in short course.

Ikee won the gold medals in the 50 and 100 meter butterfly events at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore, breaking the Championships record in each. She also won the silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle and finished 4th in the 100 meter freestyle.

Ikee swam at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. She finished 19th in the 50 meter butterfly and missed qualification for the semifinals by 0.17 s. In the 4 × 200 meter freestyle relay Ikee and her teammates reached the final where they finished in 7th place.

At the 2015 World Cup leg in Tokyo, Ikee broke the senior Japanese record in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 57.56, and the junior world record in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.17 (both long course). She won the gold medal in both events, as well as in the 100-meter freestyle.

2016

At the Kitajima Cup in Tokyo in January, Ikee broke the national record in the 100-meter freestyle, swimming 53.99. This record was broken in April by Miki Uchida. In February, she broke the national record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 24.74 at the Konami Open held at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center. This also broke the world junior record.

2016 Summer Olympics

At the Olympic trials in Tokyo in April, Ikee slightly improved her national record in the 100 m butterfly to 57.55. Ikee qualified to swim in four individual events (50 m freestyle, 100 m freestyle, 200 m freestyle, and 100 m butterfly) and three relay events (4 × 100 m freestyle relay, 4 × 200 m freestyle relay, and 4 × 100 m medley relay) at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In the heats of the 100 m butterfly, she broke her national record with a time of 57.27. In the semifinals she further improved this to 57.05, and in the final again, finishing 6th in 56.86. She finished 21st in the 200 m freestyle.

2018 Asian Games

Ikee became the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single Asian Games. She also won two silvers.After returning to Japan, Ikee learned that she had won the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament, the first for a female athlete at the Games. She then returned to Indonesia to collect the trophy and prize money.

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