Rikako Ikee Drops Nearly 1 Second To Place 4th In 50 Free Final


After a 594-day hiatus, Japanese Olympic finalist Rikako Ikee was back to racing, having taken on the women’s 50m free at the Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament last month.

The 20-year-old leukemia-stricken record holder produced a quality time of 26.32, with a video of the star emerging from the water, clearly overwhelmed with emotions.

Flash forward to today at the 96th Japan Student Swimming Championships and Ikee took her competitive return to a new level, making her first official final.

Shining in her sole individual event here in Tokyo, Ikee posted a time of 25.87 in the heats to place 6th in the 50m free early rounds. In the final, which took place just 2 hours later, Ikee improved to a 4th place finish, hitting a time of 25.62. Runa Imai took the title in 24.93 as the only swimmer to dip under the 25-second threshold.

Comparing her 26.32 from just last month to her 25.62 performance tonight, Ikee dropped nearly an entire second in just a month’s time. Ikee called tonight’s outing ‘my best time of my 2nd life.’

Ikee owns the national record in this event with the 24.21 she posted in 2018.

Look for a full meet recap to follow.

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Ikee Fan
2 years ago

What an inspiration! What she has achieved is just amazing really only a few months after she returned to the pool.

Runa Imai, Rio 200 IM Olympian is doing very well in sprint free nowadays. She had the fastest free split at WUG last year. She used to be a predominant breaststroker. She is small.

VA Steve
2 years ago

How can you not love this!? Awesome.

Honest Observer
2 years ago

Wonderful news about Ikee. She’ll certainly be a sentimental favorite next year.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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