Ikee Continues Monumental Year with 52.79 LCM 1Free National Record


There’s racing ‘tired’, then there’s racing ‘Rikako Ikee-style tired’, which includes clocking a new National Record after a tremendous year of a never-ending racing season.

While competing on the 2nd day of the 2019 (yes, 2019) Kosuke Kitajima Cup in Tokyo, this year’s Asian Games MVP ripped a new women’s 100m freestyle national mark of 52.79 to take gold.

Splitting 25.84/26.95, Ikee dipped under the 53-second threshold for the first time in her young career, obliterating her previous personal best and Japanese NR of 53.03 nabbed at the Japan Swim this past April. Her time also registers as the Asian continental record as well.

With her head-turning time of 52.79, Ikee tops the world rankings, but also overtakes Aussie Olympian Emma McKeon as the 14th fastest performer ever in the event.

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Ikee already produced a quick 57.06 to top the podium in yesterday’s 100m fly and credits her time with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in Turkey as fuel for the remainder of this season.

The teen earned MVP of this Kosuke Kitajima Cup to add to her already prolific resume. In addition to winning 100m fly gold and 200m free silver at this year’s Pan Pacific Championships, Ikee became the first-ever female MVP of the Asian Games. At those Games in Jakarta, Ikee collected a massive 8 medals, including individual golds in her bread-and-butter 50m/100m free and 50m/100m fly events.

The teen will not be competing at the Short Course World Championships, but will instead be closing out her monumental year with the Tokyo Short Course Invitational next weekend.

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Wow. What a star. I really expect either her or Ruck to become the first sub 53 sub 1.54 swimmers.

Japan look on target for a great few sporting years. Hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup (and their team looks really skillful suddenly), followed by the Olympics with a team packed full with talent

Honest Observer

Her 100 free PB had always been a little slow (in relative terms) compared to her 50 and 200 free and her 50 and 100 fly. This brings it more into line. She’ll be a real force in 2020; hope they don’t over schedule her.


I’m getting nostalgic about those good old times (just 3 years ago) when 100 free was a battle between only three titans: Campbell sisters and Sarah Sjostrom. The times when their personal bests of 52.33, 52.52 and 52.67 were a scale to measure “monumental” success in this event. The times when every others were faraway in the dust. The times when best American sprinter unbelievable Missy Franklin was 53.34.
It’s all gone. Now the 52sec area is like a train station in Down Town in rush hours: so crowded that you don’t even notice faces of people you met there.


51 is where it’s at now


There’s 12 currently active girls who’s gone 52, by my count. Not an insane number but it is quite an explosion. It’s jot unlike the sudden increase in 59s in the 100 breast since 2012


13- Sarah, Cate, Bronte, Simone, Mallory, Femke, Pernille, Penny, Taylor, Charlotte, Ranomi, Ikee, Emma

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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