Rikako Ikee Drops 200 Free Asian Record In 1:54.85


Japan’s Rikako Ikee pulled off a silver medal-winning performance in the women’s 200 freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships, breaking her own Asian and Japanese Records in a time of 1:54.85. Ikee had lowered the records in February down to 1:55.04 at the Konami Open. Prior to that swim, her personal best was a 1:56.33, and the Asian Record had belonged to China’s Pang Jiaying (1:55.05) from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. was the favorite coming into the final after setting a new meet record (1:55.16) in the prelims, but it was Canadian Taylor Ruck who really attacked the final and held a lead of six-tenths over Ledecky and Ikee heading into the final 50.

Both Ikee and Ledecky gained ground on Ruck coming home, but it was Ikee who used the fastest final 50 in the field (29.05) to overtake Ledecky and snatch the silver in 1:54.85. Ruck set a new meet and Canadian Record for gold in 1:54.44, and Ledecky was back for bronze in 1:55.15.

In addition to breaking the Asian Record, the 18-year-old also moved into a tie with Australian Ariarne Titmus for 10th all-time in the event. Titmus went her 1:54.85 at the Commonwealth Games in April, where she took silver to Ruck, but opted out of the event here as she chose to focus on the 800 free on the opening day of competition.

Fastest Performers Ever
1 Federica Pellegrini 1:52.98
2 Allison Schmitt 1:53.61
3 Katie Ledecky 1:53.73
4 Sarah Sjostrom 1:54.08
5 Taylor Ruck 1:54.44
6 Camille Muffat 1:54.66
7 Femke Heemskerk 1:54.68
8 Missy Franklin 1:54.81
9 Emma McKeon 1:54.83
10 Ariarne Titmus 1:54.85
10 Rikako Ikee 1:54.85

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2 years ago

Then splits 55.5 fly leg!!!! A STUD.

2 years ago

Yup she’s going to be a star.

2 years ago

Ikee’s 1.54.85 (with a 29.05 last 50) is, in a certain way, even more impressive than Ruck’s 1.54.44.
I mean: Ruck’s huge potential in the 200 free was clear (apart some Usa fans..), whilst Ikee, so far, hasn’t swum many 200 free in her career.
She did that huge improvement ( 1.55.04) in a domestic meet last February, but here her opponents were the best 200 freers in the Worlds (apart Titmus).
There is another Ikee’s swimming performance very intriguing: her PB (and WJR) in 200 Im, under 2.10, the only time she swam that distance,
It would be very interesting to watch Ikee in the 200 Im again.

Reply to  nuotofan
2 years ago

She swam a 2:10.06 200IM at the Tokyo Championships just last month.

Love to Swim
Reply to  nuotofan
2 years ago

What impressive about her is the constant improvements across all events. I thought she was maxing out in 200 free, and yet here we are. The fact that she is not tall and big like the other top girls make it doubly impressive. Unbelievable talent.

2 years ago

Ikee will also turn 20 just weeks before Tokyo 2020. I can see her as a serious medal threat in 100/200 free, 100 fly and 200 IM.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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