Paris Olympics-bound Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee said Friday her goal for the games is to swim faster than at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

"I want to eclipse my Rio Olympic times," the 23-year-old said during a training camp in Tokyo. Ikee will compete in the women's 100-meter butterfly in Paris.

In Rio de Janeiro, Ikee was fifth in the 100 butterfly final in 56.86 seconds while swimming in four individual events and three relay events in her Olympic debut at age 16.

Paris Olympics-bound swimmer Rikako Ikee speaks in Tokyo on March 29, 2024. (Kyodo) 


She still owns five national records from the Rio Olympic year. At the recently concluded qualifying trials, Ikee finished second in the 100 butterfly in 57.30.

At the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021, she could only make relay appearances after recovering from leukemia.

"I look forward to seeing how much stronger I can get in the remaining four months," she said.

Ikee plans to continue her training in Australia after the Tokyo camp.

Fellow Japanese female swimmers Yui Ohashi and Satomi Suzuki also made comments on their upcoming Olympic appearances.

"I need to improve all elements -- power, physical and mental strength," said the 28-year-old Ohashi, who won both the 200- and 400-meter individual medley gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics but only qualified in the 200 for Paris.

She plans to undertake high-altitude training overseas for the games.

Suzuki, who at 33 will be the oldest Japanese swimmer to compete in Olympic history, said, "I wish I could be in a position where I can listen to younger swimmers whenever they face hurdles."

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