2016 Olympic finalist Rikako Ikee has decided to change coaches headed into the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and Asian Games. The 17-year-old multiple national record holder, who swims for Renaissance Kameido, has been with coach Fumiya Murakami throughout her rise to fame, which has included producing multiple world junior records. But the teen titan now turns her attention to Jiro Miki, himself a former Olympic swimming finalist, to continue her stellar career.
Miki, just 34 years of age, competed at both the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He was in the pool with Michael Phelps for the men’s 400m IM, finishing 7th in Athens, followed by an 8th place finish in the 200m IM event. Miki should be able to offer valuable life experience to Ikee related to competing as a teen, as Miki was just 17 and one of Japan’s youngest Olympians in Sydney.
After retiring in 2008, Miko briefly worked for sportswear company Mizuno. (Yahoo Japan)
In addition to her having made the Japanese Olympic team back in 2016, last year Ikee became the first Japanese woman ever to win 5 individual titles at a national championships. She holds the Japanese national records in the 50m/100m/200m freestyle and 50m/100m butterfly (LCM), as well as those same events plus the 100m IM and 200m IM (SCM). She was most recently named to the first round of athletes to make the Japanese Pan Pacific Championships roster for 2018.
Ikee is among the high-profile swimmers competing at the 2018 Japan Open which kicks off May 24th.