Rikako Ikee of Japan broke the championship record in the women’s 50m butterfly Thursday night in order to take the top seed heading into finals and put a scare on the junior world record.
At the touch Ikee was a 26.30, bettering the previous championship record of 26.32 set by Svetlana Chimrova of Russia in 2013 by just 0.02 seconds. Her time was also just 0.04 seconds shy of Rozaliya Nasretdinova’s junior world record that she set back in August of 2014.
Ikee will have one more chance to try and break Nasretdinova’s record as she’s heading into the final as the top seed.
The young Japanese sprinter isn’t necessarily a lock for gold and will be joined by some tough competitors who could potentially rival her for both the win and the record.
Mariia Kameneva of Russia was Ikee’s closest competitor Thursday night. She dropped a 26.59 to take the second seed overall. Kameneva is likely one of the only swimmers who will be able to be in the same range is Ikee in the final.
Lucia Lassman of Australia took the third seed in 26.80, tying with 100m freestyle silver medallist Penny Oleksiak of Canada. Both will need to make a serious time drop if they want to compete with Ikee in the final.