Asian Games 2018: Rikako Ikee takes home 8 medals as Japan ends Chinese dominance in women's swimming
Swimming at the 2018 Asian Games was held at the GBK Aquatic Center, Jakarta, Indonesia from 19 to 24 August 2018.
China were the firm favourites in the competition, having claimed 15 Golds, 6 Silvers, and 7 Bronze in the Women's section and were looking to increase the same at this year's Games. Japan had been considered to be the biggest challengers for China in all the events.
There was no Indian interest in these events as they had not sent any woman swimmer to the Jakarta Games.
Let us have a brief look at how each of the events went:
Women's 50m Freestyle
Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee produced a Games Record to destroy the Chinese dominance in the Women's 50m Freestyle.
Results: Gold - Rikako Ikee (JPN) 24.53 (Games Record), Silver - Liu Xiang (CHN) 24.60, Bronze - Wu Qingfeng (CHN) 24.87
Women's 100m Freestyle
Ikee produced a stunning display in the last 50m to smash the Games record and take her second Gold at the Jakarta Games.
Results: Gold - Rikako Ikee (JPN) 53.27 (Games Record), Silver - Zhu Menghui (CHN) 53.56, Bronze - Yang Junxuan (CHN) 54.17.
Women's 200m Freestyle
Le Bingjie of China led from start to finish in the 200m Freestyle for Women. 2014 Silver medalist Igarashi of Japan was pushed to the Bronze position as China claimed the Silver through Yang Junxuan.
Results: Gold - Le Bingje (CHN) 1:56.74, Silver - Yang Junxuan (CHN) 1:57.48, Bronze - Chihiro Igarashi (JPN) 1:57.49.
Women's 400m Freestyle
Wang Jianjiahe led after the 50m mark till the end and smashed the Games record to take the Gold in the 400m Freestyle. Le Bingjie, the 200 Freestyle winner, was pushed to the Silver position.
Results: Gold - Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 4:03.18 (Games Record), Silver - Le Bingjie (CHN) 4:06.46, Bronze - Chihiro Igarashi (JPN) 4:08.48.
Women's 800m Freestyle
Wang Jianjiahe led after the 50m mark till the end and smashed the Games record to take her second Gold at the Games.
Results: Gold - Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 8:18.55 (Games Record), Silver - Le Bingjie (CHN) 8:28.14, Bronze - Waka Kobori (JPN) 8:30.65.
Women's 1500m Freestyle
Wang picked up her third Gold at the Games in the 1500m Freestyle and produced another Games record. She played second fiddle to her compatriot Le Bingjie till the halfway stage after which she took the lead and never looked back.
Results: Gold - Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 15:53.68 (Games Record), Silver - Le Bingjie (CHN) 15:53.80, Bronze - Waka Kobori (JPN) 16:18.31.
Women's 50m Backstroke
Liu Xiang won the 50m Backstroke with a World Record time and completely destroyed the field and won the Gold. She broke the World Record set by Chinese Zhao Jing in Rome, 2009.
Results: Gold - Liu Xiang (CHN) 26.98 (World Record, Asian Record, Games Record), Silver - Fu Yuanhui (CHN) 27.68, Bronze - Natsumi Sakai (JPN) 27.91.
Women's 100m Backstroke
Sakai and Konishi of Japan ended the Chinese dominance by claiming Gold and Silver in the 100m Backstroke respectively.
Results: Gold - Natsumi Sakai (JPN) 59.27, Silver - Anna Konishi (JPN) 59.67, Bronze - Chen Jie (CHN) 1:00.28.
Women's 200m BackstrokeLiu Yaxin (CHN) won Gold in 200m Backstroke
The 200m Backstroke proved very exciting to watch as Liu, who was in 4th place at the end of the 100m mark, pushed on to the lead to claim the Gold from Sakai of Japan.
Results: Gold - Liu Yaxin (CHN) 2:07.65, Silver - Natsumi Sakai (JPN) 2:08.13, Bronze - Peng Xuwei (CHN) 2:09.14.
Women's 50m Breaststroke
Defending champion, Suzuki of Japan claimed the Gold with a new Games record in the 50m Breaststroke. Ho of Singapore took the Silver with a National record.
Results: Gold - Satomi Suzuki (JPN) 30.83 (Games Record), Silver - Roanne Ho (SGP) 31.23 (National Record), Bronze - Feng Junyang (CHN) 31.24.
Women's 100m Breaststroke
Suzuki added another Gold in her name by smashing the Games record. Aoki of Japan took the Silver, making it a 1-2 for the Japanese.
Results: Gold - Satomi Suzuki (JPN) 1:06.40 (Games Record), Silver - Reona Aoki (JPN) 1:06.45, Bronze - Shi Jinglin (CHN) 1:07.36.
Women's 200m Breaststroke
The defending champion ensured that she retained the medal in an exciting 200m Breaststroke. Watanabe, who was in 3rd place till the 150m mark, turned the tables in the last 50m leg to win the Gold.
Results: Gold - Kanako Watanabe (JPN) 2:23.05, Silver - Yu Jingyao (CHN) 2:23.31, Bronze - Reona Aoki (JPN) 2:23.33.
Women's 50m Butterfly
Rikako Ikee smashed the Games record and won the 50m Butterfly to take her third Gold at the Games.
Results: Gold - Rikako Ikee (JPN) 25.55 (Games Record), Silver - Wang Yichun (CHN) 26.03, Bronze - Lin Xintong (CHN) 26.39.
Women's 100m Butterfly
Ikee downed another Games record on her way to her fourth Gold at the Games.
Results: Gold - Rikako Ikee (JPN) 56.30 (Games Record), Silver - Zhang Yufei (CHN) 57.40, Bronze - An Se-Hyeon (KOR) 58.00.
Women's 200m Butterfly
Zhang dominated the 200m Butterfly from start to finish and took the Gold.
Results: Gold - Zhang Yufei (CHN) 2:06.61, Silver - Sachi Mochida (JPN) 2:08.72, Bronze - Suzuka Hasegawa (JPN) 2:08.80.
Women's 200m Individual Medley
Kim of Korea led the race from start to finish to claim the 200m Medley Gold with a new Game and National record.
Results: Gold - Kim Seo-Yeong (KOR) 2:08.34 (Games & National Record), Silver - Yui Ohashi (JPN) 2:08.88, Bronze - Miho Teramura (JPN) 2:10.98.
Women's 400m Individual Medley
Ohashi took the lead in the Butterfly and Freestyle legs of the Medley relay and ensured that she denied Kim of Korea a double medley success by taking the 400 Medley Gold.
Results: Gold - Yui Ohashi (JPN) 4:34.58, Silver - Kim Seo-Yeong (KOR) 4:37.43, Bronze - Sakiko Shimizu (JPN) 4:39.10.
Women's 4×100m Freestyle Relay Results
Japan crushed the Games record and also, in the process, set a new National record in the 4x100m Freestyle relay.
Gold - Japan 3.36.52 (Games & National Record) - Rikako Ikee (53.60) GR, Natsumi Sakai (54.81), Tomomi Aoki (54.21), Chihiro Igarashi (53.90).
Silver - China 3.36.78 - Zhu Menghui (54.00), Wu Yue (54.67), Wu Qingfeng (54.43), Yang Junxuan (53.68).
Bronze - Hong Kong 3.41.88 - Camille Cheng (54.98), Stephanie Au (55.60), Tam Hoi Lam (56.05), Sze Hang Yu (55.25).
Women's 4×200m Freestyle Relay Results
The Chinese smashed the Games record to claim the Gold in the 4x200m Freestyle relay.
Gold - China 7.48.61 (Games Record) - Li Bingjie (1:56.94), Wang Jianjiahe (1:55.35), Zhang Yuhan (1:58.37), Yang Junxuan (1:57.95).
Silver - Japan 7.53.83 - Chihiro Igarashi (1:57.69), Rikako Ikee (1:55.27), Yui Ohashi (2:01.33), Rio Shirai (1:59.54).
Bronze - Hong Kong 8.07.17 - Ho Nam Wai (2:02.12), Camille Cheng (2:00.85), Katii Tang (2:01.68), Sze Hang Yu (2:02.52).
Women's 4×100m Medley Relay Results
Japan broke the Games and their National record as they asserted their supremacy in the 4x100m Medley relay to take the Gold. There was high drama for the Silver and Bronze as China and Korea were disqualified for jumping in too early during changeovers. Hong Kong and Singapore cashed in on the above error to take Silver and Bronze respectively.
Gold - Japan 3.54.73 (Games & National Record) - Natsumi Sakai (59.42), Satomi Suzuki (1:05.43), Rikako Ikee (55.80), Tomomi Aoki (54.08).
Silver - Hong Kong 4.03.15 - Stephanie Au (), Jamie Yeung (), Chan Kin Lok (59.76), Camille Cheng ().
Bronze - Singapore 4.09.65 - Hoong En Qi (), Samantha Yeo (), Quah Jing Wen (59.75), Quah Ting Wen ().
Japan dominated the Swimming event, winning 11 of the 20 Golds available on offer, along with 6 Silvers and 9 Bronze. They pushed China to the second spot with 8 Golds, 11 Silvers, and 7 Bronze. Korea took the third spot with 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.
There was one World record which was broken and 13 Games record set, which made it an exciting event to watch.
Rikako Ikke of Japan took home 6 Golds and 2 Silvers to make it a successful event for her country.