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

2021 JAPAN SWIM (OLYMPIC TRIALS)

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.”

In This Story

19
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
19 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SWIMGUY12345
10 days ago

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

Captain Ahab
10 days ago

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

Justhereforfun
10 days ago

Damn it just give her an Olympic gold already

Khachaturian
Reply to  Justhereforfun
9 days ago

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

ytho
Reply to  Khachaturian
9 days ago

3 years but yes for sure

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »