Watch Rikako Ikee’s Olympic-Qualifying 100 Fly & Emotional Interview


As we reported early this morning, 20-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee has qualified for her 2nd Olympic Games by way of finishing first in the women’s 100m fly. Although her time did not meet the individual qualification standard set forth by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF), it did fall beneath the selection standard to represent the nation on the women’s medley relay.

Plus, Ikee still has more events to go here at the Japan Swim (Olympic Trials), set to race in the 100m free and 50m free.

You can read more about Ikee’s inspirational feat here.

Ikee’s remarkable 100m fly victory is seen below, with the 2018 Asian Games MVP clearly very emotional as soon as she touched the wall and then spoke with media immediately post-race.

“I’ve never thought I’d be able to win the 100. I was less confident compared to the qualifier five years ago and I thought I could win only in the distant future,” Ikee said.

“But I trained to win and I was saying to myself ‘I’m back’, as I entered this race.”

“I didn’t get the turns right in the semifinals and I thought there were areas to improve,” she said. “So I wasn’t expecting to get below 58 seconds or the time needed for the relay, so I’m really happy.”

“Even at really tough, hard times, I felt that effort would be rewarded,” said Ikee. “I was really happy when I saw the results. It was beyond words.”

“It gave me a huge boost in confidence. I still have the 100 and (50 and 100) freestyles, too, so I will keep giving my best.”

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3 months ago

Who’s cutting the onions? Well done Rikako! Truly an inspiration to us all.

Captain Ahab
3 months ago

Holy Smokes! That is something special!! I did not understand what she was saying but it filled me up with tears.

3 months ago

Damn it just give her an Olympic gold already

Reply to  Justhereforfun
3 months ago

She’s only 20, I am sure she could get like 3 in four years

Reply to  Khachaturian
3 months ago

3 years but yes for sure

3 months ago

Incredible! So happy for her!

3 months ago

Japanese is such a nice language

3 months ago

This honestly made my day. So happy for Ikee. Truly inspiring

Love to swim
3 months ago

So wonderful! Made my day too!

Kick porpoises for fun
3 months ago

That’s amazing! But, why is she still doing only 5 dolphin kicks off the wall?!? At every championship meet she goes like 8 meters underwater. Girl, Natalie Coughlin did 11 kicks. We’re rooting for you!

Reply to  Kick porpoises for fun
3 months ago

Recovering from a deadly disease

Reply to  Kick porpoises for fun
3 months ago

Good grief. She was in the hospital for 10 months. She’s been out for 16 months.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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