Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee continues her reign as the dominant on-the-rise butterflier internationally. While competing at the FINA World Cup in Tokyo today, the 16-year-old fired off a new World Junior Record in the 100m fly event, touching in 56.42 for 4th place.
Ikee is actually the first World Junior Record holder in this event, having cleared the 56.64 ‘world best time’ benchmark set by FINA when they first announced short course meters World Junior Records.
What is truly eye-opening to grasp is just how far young Ikee has come in the sprint fly and freestyle events over the past couple of years. At the 2014 version of this World Cup stop, Ikee’s SCM 100m butterfly time was just 1:02.18. Last year, Ikee trounced that mark, setting a new (at the time) long course meters World Junior Record of 57.56. That converts to a swift 56.26 in short course meters.
Flash forward to today, and Ikee split 26.73/26.69 to claim her 3rd WJR overall. She already holds the 50m freestyle (24.67) and 50 fly (25.50) WJR. Ikee is well on her way to potentially scorching the Japanese National Record in the 100 fly SCM event, a mark which stands at 56.09 by Yuka Kato.
Ikee already holds her nation’s record in the long course version of the 100m fly event, firing off a wicked-fast 56.86 at the 2016 Olympic Games. Although Ikee wound up in 6th and off the podium with that swim in Rio, she became the first Japanese woman to ever claim a 100 LCM butterfly time under 57 seconds.