Watch Teen Phenom Rikako Ikee Race Olympic Legend Kosuke Kitajima

Rikako Ikee‘s performances in the pool this year at both the Pan Pacific Championships as well as the Asian Games have further fueled the popularity of the teen in her home nation of Japan. The multiple national record holder already finaled at the Olympics back in 2016, but has been steadily improving to the point where she is in the conversation for potential multiple medals on her home turf come the 2020 Games.

Her exposure domestically is increasing as well, including via an appearance alongside Japanese swimming legend Kosuke Kitajima in a recent commercial. Touting the tagline ‘Dreams Come True’, the Eneos energy company advertisement features Ikee swimming freestyle alongside Kitajima’s breaststroke in a ‘heated race’.

Ikee is wrapping up a two-week stint in Turkey, training alongside Energy Standard swimmer and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom. The Japanese star will be sitting out the Short Course World Championships, instead focusing on next year’s Long Course World Championships.

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Gurl!
4 years ago

Girl needs to learn how to do some underwaters! Watching her do 3 dolphin kicks off the wall at pan pacs almost made me pull my hair out.

Sakura Sakura
4 years ago

The swimming federation invests so much and once they meet the standards ( times), the swimmers do not have to pay any fee…including to their clubs, coaches, trips…they subside all the cost. Junior World Japanese swimmers last year were pretty much fee-exempted level. Over here, we will lose NCAA eligibility. They hosts training camps about twice a month at least. The country is small, and it is very easy to travel anyway.

nuotofan
4 years ago

Imo, phenom is well deserved for an 18 year-old so strong in 5 races (50, 100, 200 free; 50, 100 fly) and with another one (200 im) in which has already performed greatly, the few occasions she has swum.
Moreover she has had, so far, a steady improving path and, finally, she swims wonderfully.
Yes, in my opinion Rikako Ikee is an aquatic phenom.

Yozhik
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

Sure, it is all a question of definition. You can call me without any hesitation a swimming phenom of our park district pool because I’m the only person who is trying to swim and any others are just walking in their lanes.

Coach John
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

showing up does not make you a phenom and invalidates your argument.

Bear drinks beer
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

In this case, should we call Li Bingjie a phenom? She was very strong in 4 events (200/400/800/1500 free) and won three medals at the World Championships at the age of 15 (17-year-old Ikee won nothing at the same meet). She is already the third fastest 800m freestyler in history, only behind Katie Ledecky and super-suited Rebecca Adlington. But we all know what happened this year. In my definition, you should perform consistently at high level for some years and deliver at major global meets to be called a phenom.

Admin
Reply to  Bear drinks beer
4 years ago

I’ve always associated the word ‘phenom’ with someone young who performs at a level that belies their age. Which doesn’t jive with your necessary definition of sustained success over many years.

Yozhik
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Poor Katinka Hosszu. Mr. Keith will never call you a phenom. Too old. Sorry. 😀

Scott Morgan
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Yes, that is it:
phe·nom
/ˈfēˌnäm,fiˈnäm/
nouninformal•North American
noun: phenom; plural noun: phenoms

a person who is outstandingly talented or admired, especially an up-and-comer.

Yozhik
4 years ago

To be called a phenom the eighteen years old girl is needed to have some gold medals at the competition stronger than Nationals: Olympics or World Championships at least.

Science Geek
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

She’s awesome in a wide range of events. You can get all persnickety about the exact definition of phenom all you want. Regardless Ikee kicks butt.

Yozhik
Reply to  Science Geek
4 years ago

She is indeed awesome. I wish I was that talented.

Coach John
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

no one called her a phenom in this article…. stop “trumping” up the conversation

Yozhik
Reply to  Coach John
4 years ago

What is it “trumping”. Haven’t found this word in any dictionary. Is it good or bad?
P.S. The title of the article calls Ikee Rikako a phenom.

Admin
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

“Trumping” is a reference to card games. It means “taking top precedent over,’ as in to ‘play a trump card.’

2Fat4Speed
4 years ago

I will take her freestyle over his breaststroke in a Jeah to head any day of the week!

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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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