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Rikako IKEE
Sport Swimming
NOC Japan   
GenderWomen
Born04 Jul 2000 in Tokyo, JPN
Height1.71 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Tokyo, JPN
Occupation
Student
Languages
English, Japanese
Higher education
Sports Science - Nihon University : Tokyo, JPN
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began the sport at age three.
Why this sport?
She was encouraged by her older brother and sister.
Club / Team
Renaissance: Japan
Name of coach
Isamu Nishizaki [club], JPN
International Debut
Year
2014
Competing for
Japan
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Tokyo, JPN
General Interest
Hobbies
Colouring books, puzzles, watching films. (rikako-ikee.jp, 13 Jun 2019)
Hero / Idol
Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino. (s-re.jp, 2014)
Injuries
She sustained pain in her left shoulder and ankle in 2017. (hochi.co.jp, 26 Jul 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Keep it up." (Twitter profile, 13 Feb 2019)
Awards and honours
She was given the Swimmer of the Year Award at the 2018 Japan Aquatics Awards. (swimswam.com, 28 Jan 2019; bbm-japan.com, 29 Jan 2019)

She received a Special Award at the 68th Japan Sports Awards in 2018. (msn.com, 14 Dec 2018)

She was Japan's flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 03 Sep 2018)

She was named Most Valuable Player [MVP] at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia by the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA]. (swimswam.com, 02 Sep 2018)

She was given an Excellence Award and Arena Sprint Award at the 2017 Japan Aquatic Awards. (tobiuojapan.org, 23 Jan 2018)

She received Big Sports Award at the 2017 TV Asahi Big Sports Awards in Japan. (sportsbull.jp, 12 Jan 2018)

She was awarded the FINA Trophy for the Best Female Swimmer at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Indianapolis, IN, United States of America. (fina.org, 29 Aug 2017)
Milestones
She is the first swimmer, male or female, to win six gold medals at a single edition of the Asian Games. She claimed victory in two relay events and four individual events at the 2018 Games in Indonesia. She also became the first female athlete from any sport to win six gold medals at a single edition of the Asian Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 31 Aug 2018; reuters.com, 25 Aug 2018)
Ambitions
To compete in the 50m butterfly at the 2022 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and win a medal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (hochi.news, 08 Jan 2022; sanspo.com, 28 Nov 2021; nishinippon.co.jp, 01 Jan 2022)
Other information
OVERCOMING ILLNESS
She was diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2019. She spent time away from the sport to receive treatment and was discharged from hospital in December 2019. She resumed pool training seriously in May 2020, and returned to competitive action at the Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament in August 2020. Despite her claims that she was aiming for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, she went on to compete in relay events at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. "Really a lot of things happened over the past five years and the Tokyo Olympics was something that I gave up on at one point. But I feel really happy to have been able to swim as a relay member in the final [of the women's 4x100m medley relay]. One year ago [speaking in 2021], I did start swimming but I wasn't participating in any competitions. I didn't even think I'd be here at a world competition and as a representative of my country and as a representative who has overcome illness. Being back here I felt again that I want to be a person who can inspire others." (japantimes.co.jp, 05 Jun 2019; rikako-ikee.jp, 17 Mar 2020; nikkansports.com, 08 Feb 2020, 19 Feb 2020; Instagram profile, 08 Feb 2020; asahi.com, 02 Jul 2020; olympics.nbcsports.com, 02 Jul 2020; daily.co.jp, 29 Aug 2020; olympicchannel.com, 04 Apr 2021; swimswam.com, 04 Apr 2021; kkt.jp, 08 Jan 2022; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 03 Aug 2021)

MESSAGE OF HOPE
In July 2020 she was featured in a video that marked the one-year countdown to the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Ikee stood in an empty National Stadium holding the Olympic flame and delivered a message comparing the difficulties of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic with her own battle with cancer. "Think of the coming year, not simply as a one-year postponement, but as a plus one. To overcome adversity, what we need most is hope - a flame of hope glowing in the distance allows us to keep trying, to keep moving forward no matter how hard it is." (tokyo2020.org, 24 Jul 2020; insidethegames.biz, 23 Jul 2020)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
9 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:44.15
8 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:58.12
Semifinal 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 100m Freestyle 54.31
5 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 100m Butterfly 56.86
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 50m Freestyle 25.45
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 200m Freestyle 1:58.49
8 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:37.78
8 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:56.76
Heats 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 100m Medley Relay  
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2017 Budapest, HUN 100m Butterfly 57.08
Semifinal 2017 Budapest, HUN 50m Butterfly 25.90
Semifinal 2017 Budapest, HUN 50m Freestyle 24.84
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 100m Freestyle 54.91
7 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay  
5 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:50.43
4 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:24.78
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 50m Butterfly 26.66
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:28.54
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:38.47
7 2015 Kazan, RUS 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:54.62
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 100m Butterfly 55.64 
5 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:41.97
4 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 100m Freestyle 52.12 
3 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 50m Butterfly 25.32 
13 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 50m Freestyle 24.42 
5 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:34.09
5 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 1:30.95
3 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 4 x 50m Medley Relay 1:38.45
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
21 2018   Overall Ranking  
1 2018 Tokyo, JPN 100m Butterfly 55.31
3 2018 Tokyo, JPN 100m Individual Medley 58.17
3 2018 Tokyo, JPN 50m Butterfly 24.80
19 2017   Overall  
2 2017 Tokyo, JPN 100m Butterfly 55.99
8 2017 Tokyo, JPN 50m Backstroke 27.02
2 2017 Tokyo, JPN 100m Individual Medley 57.75
3 2017 Tokyo, JPN 50m Butterfly 25.14
4 2016 Tokyo, JPN 100m Butterfly 56.42
6 2016 Tokyo, JPN 50m Freestyle 24.61
3 2016 Tokyo, JPN 100m Freestyle 52.39
2 2016 Tokyo, JPN 100m Individual Medley 58.24
2 2016 Tokyo, JPN 50m Butterfly 25.73
7 2014 Tokyo, JPN 50m Freestyle 24.92
7 2014 Tokyo, JPN 100m Freestyle 53.86
5 2014 Tokyo, JPN 50m Butterfly 26.25
Asian Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2016 Tokyo, JPN 100m Butterfly 57.46
2 2016 Tokyo, JPN 100m Freestyle 53.68
1 2016 Tokyo, JPN 50m Butterfly 25.74
1 2016 Tokyo, JPN 50m Freestyle 24.90
2 2016 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:37.71 
1 2016 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:57.97
2 2016 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:58.07
Asian Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 50m Freestyle 24.53
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 50m Butterfly 25.55
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 100m Butterfly 56.30
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 100m Freestyle 53.27
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 3:36.52
2 2018 Jakarta, INA 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:53.83
1 2018 Jakarta, INA 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:54.73
2 2018 Jakarta, INA 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:41.21