Ikei wins world bronze, will transfer to Colorado

Tiare Ikei, left, won bronze at the Cadet world championships in Croatia. Soon, she will be training with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun, right, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Photo by Dennis Oda/Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Tiare Ikei, a Hawaii Technology Academy student who wrestled last season for Kaiser, won the bronze medal in the 49kg United World Wrestling Cadet Women’s World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, last week.

Ikei pinned Munkhgerel Munkhbat of Mongolia in the first period of the bronze medal match.

Earlier in the year, Ikei — the reigning 112-pound Hawaii state champion — won the U.S. women’s national championship in Irving, Texas, and the Pan-American championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

“I’m thrilled,” Ikei said in a news release. “I’ll take a bronze this year and keep on working throughout the year to get to the top of the podium.”

Losing was a plus in one way, she said.

“Sucks to say, but I think the loss (was the best thing that happened at the tournament),” she added. “That was pretty great for me because it’s still technically early in my career so I’d rather lose here than at the junior level, so I’ll use that as experience. And also being here with all the girls with the same mind-set, it’s great.”

Ikei said she will be moving to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to train full-time under the coaching of women’s national team Coach Terry Steiner and assistant coach Clarissa Chun. Chun, a Roosevelt alumnus, won bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

Ikei said she is choosing to forgo her senior year of high school in Hawaii and a chance to defend her state title in hopes to make the Olympics in the future and focus solely on freestyle wrestling.

“This was a hard decision for me and my family to make, but it’s an opportunity I cannot pass up on and I owe a lot of people thanks for helping me get to where I am today,” Ikei said.

Ikei will be transferring from Hawaii Technolocy Academy to The Springs Studio, a blended learning charter school in which many of the Olympic hopefuls at the OTC attend.

She finished fifth in the Hawaii Prep World pound-for-pound rankings this year after sweeping Paani, Officials, OIA and states during her junior season.


  1. Kamehameha #! July 14, 2018 6:00 am

    I hope the best for her but the reality is that she is way to young! The chances are not good that she’ll make the US olympic team and even if she makes it, she’ll have to compete against those who are elite from Japan and other countries. Might want to give it some thought!

  2. Ran July 14, 2018 2:44 pm

    K#1…what a kill joy….

  3. Warrior July 14, 2018 5:13 pm

    Small town mentality in effect. Disappointed to see “Kamehameha” associated with that. If she waited until next Olympics, she’d be 23 and people will be saying, “Oh, she started ‘too late,’ if she really wanted to compete with the best in the world, she should’ve gotten out of Hawaii to train with/against elite athletes sooner.”

    Is it “too much” for some people to handle at 17-19?

    I’m sure. But some of the best in the world have competed at the Olympics at 18 and 19 and so on and were competing with elite athletes from even younger ages than Tiare is now. Some could argue that a move could’ve been made sooner. Are the 2020 Olympics a long shot? Maybe. Doesn’t mean she shouldn’t take the shot.

  4. Kamehameha #! July 18, 2018 5:47 am

    I totally agree that off course she has a chance! 2% Chance! You need to be realiseic Warrrior! What happened to Teshya Alo and the sister? Everybody were putting their money on them and one of the well know wrestling coach from Hawaii coach (Robinson) promised that the Alo sisters will be in the olympic! Well Teshya has regressed and been getting beaten by girls who she used to dominate growing up. There were also the golfers the two Kim girls who were also suppose to be future lpga and never really materialize. At 19 making the olympic team againt the best college and Open girls who are in the prime, be real! But, best wishes for Tiare!

  5. Mike November 18, 2018 2:21 am

    Why you are you all mad that she is taking her shot!!! She worked hard to get to where she is at and her dream is to make the Olympics!!! Makes no sense to wait as she was raised to be challenged by her family.

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