2018 MARE NOSTRUM TOUR, CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON
- June 9th-10th
- Bassin Europa, Canet-en-Roussillon, France
- Meet Central
- Entry List
- Live Results
Racing on night 2 of the Canet-en-Roussillon stop of the 2018 Mare Nostrum tour, Japanese teen phenom Rikako Ikee slammed down a statement swim in the 50 fly. Finishing nearly a full second ahead of 2nd place Kimberly Buys of Belgium, Ikee hit the wall at 25.11, breaking her old Asian record of 25.25.
In terms of international implications, Ikee is nearing sub-25 territory, a venture that’s only ever been made by Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström. After several years of Sjöström reigning as the untouchable butterfly queen, Ikee’s progressions are starting to bring the Swede a bit more down to earth — or, maybe it’s the other way around, and Ikee is rising to her lofty standards.
Sjöström’s record is still a ways away at 24.43, though she hasn’t been able to touch that since she swam it in 2014. With Ikee’s overall improvements across all of her top events this year, though, the teenager is looking more and more like a serious threat to Sjöström and the world for the coming years.
Currently, Ikee’s 25.11 puts her just four hundredths behind Sjöström’s world-leading 25.07 from January.
Ikee is now inside of the top 5 in history in this race.
WOMEN’S 50 FLY ALL-TIME TOP PERFORMERS
- Sarah Sjöström (SWE) – 24.43 (2014)
- Therese Alshammar (SWE) – 25.07 (2009)
- Rikako Ikee (JPN) – 25.11 (2018)
- Fran Halsall (GBR) – 25.20 (2014)
- Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) – 25.24 (2013)
Ikee is also significantly younger than any of these women were when they went these times. Sjöström was 20, Alshammar was 31, Halsall was 24, and Ottesen was 25.
This weekend in Canet, Ikee knocked off the red-hot Canadian teen Taylor Ruck to win the 100 free (53.10) to just miss her Asian record by .07, won the 100 fly (57.47), and placed third in the 50 free (24.80).