Japanese Record Holder Rikako Ikee’s New Coach Revealed

When we spoke with 19-year-old Olympian Rikako Ikee exclusively last month, the 2018 Asian Games MVP told us she would be changing up coaches upon getting back into training.

Having been discharged from the hospital last December, nearly a year after having been diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019, Ikee has slowly been making her way back to the gym and into the water. Her exercise rehabilitation was dealt a blow in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t deter the free and fly specialist from keeping her hopes alive for an appearance at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

When she is able to get back into the water on a regular basis, however, it won’t be with her coach Jiro Miki. “I am not working with Coach Miki anymore,” confirmed Ikee last month.

Ikee selected Miki, a former Olympian himself, as her new coach in 2018 after rising to fame under the tutelage of Fumiya Murakami.  Although Miki remains the coach of Nihon University where Ikee is enrolled at the College of Sports Science, Coach Miki left Renaissance Kameido last year.

Today Ikee’s management firm confirmed the star has selected Isamu Nishizaki, a coach at Renaissance. Nishizaki joined Renaissance in 2000 and served as the Japanese National Team coach at the 2015 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

2016 Olympian Sachi Mochida is among those under Nishizaki’s tutelage already. Mochida earned the 200m fly bronze at the 2018 edition of the Pan Pacific Championships and took silver in the same event at that year’s Asian Games.

Ikee isn’t the only big-name Japanese swimmer to have recently changed coaches. As reported, two-time 2019 world champion Daiya Seto decided to partner with friend and former teammate Ryuichiro Ura just over a year out from the 2020 Olympic Games. You can read more about Seto’s situation here.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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