Of the 20 medals Japanese women have won in the Olympic pool since blokes in blazers decided their gender could join the party in 1912, 16 have been claimed on backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, two in relays, one in the 400IM and one in the 800m free. Rikako Ikee is tipped to break the mould at a home Olympic Games in Tokyo three summers from the one ahead but the 16-year-old says: “Getting a medal (in 2020) is a goal but more than anything else, I want to go into it with confidence. I want to have the kind of training on a daily basis that (gives me the belief that) I can definitely win.”
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