• Kyodo

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Rikako Ikee on Thursday became the first Japanese middle school student to qualify for the FINA World Aquatics Championships since 2001.

By finishing third in the women’s 200-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 58.77 seconds on the third day of the National Swimming Championships — the 14-year-old Ikee met the necessary standards to compete at this summer’s worlds in the 4×200 freestyle relay. She became the first Japanese middle schooler to make the worlds since Saori Haruguchi competed at the 2001 worlds in Fukuoka.

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