2021 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 22nd – Sunday, January 24th
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Initial Entries (in Japanese)
Although we’re waiting on the official start lists for the 2021 Kosuke Kitajima Cup, we know that 20-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee has added a new event to her comeback lineup.
Slated to begin tomorrow, Friday, January 22nd in Tokyo, this Kosuke Kitajima Cup will mark Ikee’s first competition of 2021, after the free and fly ace opted out of an earlier New Year’s Meet due to coronavirus concerns. We know that she will be contesting not only the 50m free, as she had raced several times late last year, but she will also be taking on the 100m free for the first time upon her racing return.
Although this Cup is not an Olympic-qualifying meet, Ikee will still aim to hit the minimum Olympic time standard for the women’s 50m freestyle as dictated by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF), which stands at 24.46. This would be an important marker for Ikee in terms of knowing how far she would need to go.
The sole Olympic qualifying meet for Japanese swimmers is represented by the Japan Swim in April. The top 2 swimmers in each event earn spots on the nation’s roster for Tokyo, provided they each hit the stiff consideration standards.
For the women’s 4x100m free relay, although japan finished 5th at last year’s World Championships in order to qualify a squad in FINA’s eyes, the top 4 racers still need to average at least 54.42 in the individual 100m free to be named to the Olympic roster.
You can read more about Japanese qualifications here.
After more than 594 days away from competition, Ikee returned to racing at the Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament in August of last year, where she logged a 50m freestyle time of 26.32. The multi-national record holder followed that up with an even quicker 25.62 at Japan’s Student Swimming Championships the first weekend of October.
In terms of the 100m free, Ikee owns the Japanese national and Asian continental record in the event with the 52.79 she produced at this same Kosuke Kitajima Cup 2 years ago. Although anything is possible with this athlete, simply just the fact that she is taking on a second event and not counting out the possibility of vying for the Olympic Games this year is cause for celebration.