Rikako Ikee Named MVP of Asian Games

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

18-year-old Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee was named the MVP of the 2018 Asian Games on Sunday thanks to the six gold and two silver medals she picked up in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ikee became the first female athlete to be named MVP of the Games and just the fourth Japanese athlete to win since it’s inception in 1998. She also claimed the most medals by an individual at an Asian Games since North Korean shooter So Gin-man won seven golds and a silver in 1982 and New Delhi.

“I had heard that for a while there was no MVP award and I felt very sad about that, but there was a re-evaluation and I am very honoured to be able to receive such a wonderful award,” Ikee said after picking up her trophy and a check for $50,000.

According to The Japan Times, the teen had returned to Japan after the swimming portion of the Games, only to travel back to Jakarta to claim her award.

“Actually after the swimming competitions, I went back to Japan. I didn’t think I (would have) to come back to Indonesia again. This has been a place with lot of good memories.”

Ikee posted a photo on Instagram which can be seen below. When loosely translated, it reads:

“I’m really happy to be able to win MVP!! For my first closing ceremony, I had to serve as a (flag) bearer. At first it was light, but the rain was getting worse and heavier. Lol it was so fast but I’m happy to have a valuable experience.”

Relive Ikee’s historic run at the 2018 Asian Games, race by race, below:

The Japan Times contributed to this report.


  1. Tina Kemal

    congratulations Rikako Ikee the #QueenOfAsia

  2. Kenny Richardson

    Stayed at the Aqualine Apartments, last time she was training in Australia. Well done Rikako Ikee.