Rikako Ikee Wins 50 Fly By More Than One Second At Tokyo New Year’s Meet


The annual Tokyo Metro New Year’s Meet got underway tonight from Tokyo, with 22-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee highlighting the day one performances. Ikee took on the women’s 50m free and 50m butterfly double this evening, wrangling up one silver and one gold for her efforts.

Ikee warmed up with the 50m free where the two-time Olympian produced a solid time of 24.76. Getting to the wall ahead of her, however, was Shiho Matsumoto of Waseda. Matsumoto touched in a time of 24.50 to secure the gold.

In the 50m fly, Ikee upgraded herself to gold, capturing the top prize in a time of 25.86. She beat the field by over a second en route to posting a time just .23 outside of the 25.63 she produced at the 2021 Japanese Short Course Championships.

The next closest swimmer in the race was Suzuka Hasegawa who produced a time of 26.97 as the runner-up.

National record holder Ikee sat out of last year’s Short Course National Championships, thus forgoing qualification for Melbourne. The two-time Olympian said she wanted to focus on the home-based 2023 World Championships (50m) and ultimately her goal of making the Japanese squad for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Nao Horomura was another gold medalist on the night, with the 23-year-old Asian Games medalist logging a result of 1:54.26. Although his effort was well off his own personal best of 1:51.37 from 2017, it was enough to get the job done here.

The women’s 2fly saw Hiroko Makino come within striking distance of her own career-quickest in the event. Makino posted a mark of 2:05.66, comprised of splits of 59.59/1:06.07. Her time fell just .30 short of her PB of 2:05.36, a performance she put up at the 2017 Lausanne Swim Cup.

Additional Winners

  • Katsumi Nakamura was too quick to catch in the men’s 50m free, logging a time of 21.54 for the gold. He also snagged the victory in the 50m fly in 23.46.
  • The men’s 200m free saw Ryo Saitou get it done for gold in a mark of 1:45.21, a new lifetime best by .02.
  • Tomohiro Ito clocked a time of 53.00 to get the edge over Yuki Tanaka in the men’s 100m back. Tanaka settled for silver just .08 behind in 53.08.
  • Two men got under the 59-second mark in the 100m breast, led by Seren Yamamoto‘s victorious 58.54. Daiki Wakayama was right there in 58.90 for silver.
  • Kanako Watanabe topped the women’s 1breast podium in a time of 1:05.42 while Runa Imai got to the wall only .18 later in 1:05.60 for runner-up in the race.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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