Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee was part of her nation’s new record-setting 4x100m freestyle relay in today’s prelims session at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, but she also scored a new mark on an individual level.
Competing in the women’s 100m butterfly heats, Ikee stopped the clock at a swift 57.27, a time which checks in as the 8th-fastest headed into tonight’s semi-finals. Her mark today also garnered the 16-year-old a new Japanese National Record in the event, surpassing her own previous time of 57.55 she set in April of this year.
In Rio today, Ikee knocked almost 3 tenths of a second off of that personal best, splitting 26.45/30.82 to nab her new record of 57.27. Japanese Teammate and World Champion in the 200m fly event, Natsumi Hoshi, clocked a time of 58.15 to qualify 15th overall.
Although Ikee’s mark sits at least a half a second off of the prelims’ top 3, the 16-year-old has proven she can steady the nerves of competing at her first Olympic Games and throw down a big swim. That’s exactly what she’ll need to do to move herself up into a strong lane position for tomorrow night’s final.