2021 TOKYO OPEN
- Saturday, February 20th & Sunday, February 21st
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Results (in Japanese)
Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee may be downplaying any aspirations of competing at a home-based Olympic Games this summer, but the 20-year-old is registering times that put her on the right trajectory.
While competing on day 1 of the 2021 Tokyo Open, Ikee raced her first butterfly event since returning to competition post-treatment. She had raced the 50m free and 100m free a handful of times toward the end of last year, but today marked the first time the national record holder took on the event in which she finaled at the 2016 Olympic Games.
After logging a solid morning swim of 1:00.06 to make the A final, Ikee landed on the podium this evening with a quicker 59.44. Opening in 27.75 and closing in 31.69, the Renaissance swimmer wrangled up bronze behind winner Makino Hiroko (58.63) and runner-up Kizu Kichihana (59.35).
In addition to hitting a sub-minute milestone, Ikee’s outing here dips under the qualification standard needed to contest the event at the 2021 Japan Swim set for April, the sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity for the nation of Japan.
The Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF)-dictated qualifying standard for the Olympic Games rests at a stiff 57.10.
Once again, Ikee addressed any Tokyo Games’ hopes, saying post-race, “I can’t say that I’m aiming for it now. When we start to get results that are world-class, we will think about it at that time.
Ikee owns the Japanese national record in the 100m fly with her lifetime best of 56.08.