72ND NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL OF JAPAN
- Friday, September 15th & Saturday, September 16th
- Matsuyama Pool, Central Park, Ehime Prefecture
- Start Lists/Results (in Japanese)
While competing at this weekend’s National Sports Festival of Japan, 17-year-old sprinter Rikako Ikee lowered her own national record and World Junior Record in the 50m freestyle.
Entering the 72nd edition of this Festival, Ikee’s personal best and national record stood at the 24.48 she produced at the Konami Open earlier this year. At the time, that mark represented the World Junior Record, but Ikee hacked another .15 off of that outing to win the 50m free event tonight in a monster 24.33, the only sub-25 mark of the field.
At just 17 years of age, Ikee holds the Japanese national LCM records across the 50m/100m/200m freestyle and 50m/100m butterfly events. Her most recent international competitions include both the Senior and Junior World Championships this past summer. At the former, Ikee was able to score a sub-25 outing in the 50m free semi-finals with a mark of 24.94 to finish 16th in the event. Her highest finish in Budapest came in the form of her 100m butterfly time of 57.08 that rendered her in 6th place in that race final.
In Indy, Japan’s golden girl nabbed 3 individual World Junior titles, taking the top prize in the 50m fly (25.46), 100m butterfly (57.25) and the 50m freestyle in 24.59.
With the Tokyo Olympics now just over 1000 days away, Ikee’s trajectory has the teen on a path towards host country glory come 2020.