Ikee Collects Another Sprint Victory, Watanabe No-Shows 200 Breast In Tokyo


21-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee continued her momentum from yesterday’s 100m freestyle victory with another gold medal-worthy outing to close out the 2022 Japan Swim.

Contesting the women’s 50m free, Ikee posted a time of 24.78 to represent the only swimmer of tonight’s field to delve into sub-25 second territory. Her result here once again marks the fastest since her return to racing in late 2020, with her previous comeback PB resting at the 24.84 produced at last year’s Olympic Trials.

For the men’s edition of the splash n’ dash here in Tokyo, it was Shinri Shioura who got to the wall first, producing a result of 22.14. That edged out domestic rival Katsumi Nakamura, who touched just .08 behind in 22.22.

Rising star Mio Narita, who previously set a new World Junior Record in the women’s 400m IM before Canada’s Summer MacIntosh lowered the standard, was the fastest 200m backstroker tonight.

The 15-year-old punched a 2back time of 2:10.45 to top the podium, obliterating the 2:12.41 she logged at Japan’s World Trials just last month. The performance ranks the teen among Japan’s top 25 performers all-time in the event with the World Junior Championships on the horizon.

It was at those aforementioned World Trials where Yu Hanaguruma joined the sub-2:08 club in the men’s 200m breaststroke, logging a time of 2:07.99 to take the title. Although he was well off that outing here, the man still beat his peers to hit 2:09.37 for the 200m breast win.

He led a trio of men in that range, with Ikuru Hiroshima touching in 2:09.58 while Ryuya Mura posted 2:09.68 to round out the top 3.

Just behind was Olympian Shoma Sato, the reigning national record holder, who settled for 4th in 2:10.22 while Daiya Seto was 5th in 2:10.65.

Of note, former world record holder Ippei Watanabe was entered in the event but wound up not diving in.

Additional winners included Hiroko Makino grabbing the 100m fly victory for the women in 28.28 while newly-minted national record holder Naoki Mizunuma put up a mark of 51.23 to take the men’s 100m fly.

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7 months ago


About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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