2021 TOKYO OPEN
- Saturday, February 20th & Sunday, February 21st
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Day 1 Recap
- Results (in Japanese)
After reaching the women’s 100m fly podium yesterday with a bronze at this 2021 Tokyo Open, leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee threw down an inspirational swim to take gold in the 50m fly.
Competing on day 2 here in Tokyo, the 20-year-old Olympic finalist busted out a swift time of 25.77 to not only beat the remaining 50m fly competitors by over a second but to reach the top of the podium for the first time since her return to racing.
Ikee’s perseverance and positive attitude have now rendered the Renaissance swimmer as the world’s 4th fastest 50m flyer this season.
For additional perspective, Ikee’s 25.77 tonight would have placed 8th at the 2019 FINA World Championships, a competition she had to sit out while spending most of that year in the hospital undergoing intense treatments. Her time tonight also ranks as the 11th best performance of her own career.
Ikee’s own Japanese national record in this event sits at 25.11, which means she was just over half a second away from the best performance of her life with tonight’s swim.
Post-race, Ikee stated to the Asian press, ” I wanted to swim around 26 seconds but I didn’t expect to be in the 25-second range. So, I am surprised and happy. I’m quite high right now.”