Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee has been named the 2018 Asian Games' Most Valuable Player after winning six golds and two silvers ©Getty Images

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee has been named the "Most Valuable Player" (MVP) of the 2018 Asian Games at a ceremony here in Jakarta today.

The 18-year-old, who won six gold medals and two silvers at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatics Centre, becomes the first woman to win the award, which is generally given to the athlete who has won the most medals at the end of each Games.

Ikee was picked as the winner by the Olympic Council of Asia's (OCA) MVP Award Committee, which is chaired by Raja Randhir Singh, OCA Honorary Life President.

He said the decision to award Ikee the prize was unanimous.

"There have been some remarkable performances by several athletes in different sports in Jakarta and Palembang but the achievements of Rikako Ikee really stood out and impressed all members of the panel," he said.

"On behalf of the OCA, I would like to congratulate Miss Ikee on her record-breaking achievements."

Not only did Ikee win six golds, she also set Games records to win each of them, in the women’s 4x100 metres freestyle relay, 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m medley relay and 50m freestyle. 

Her performance makes her the most successful swimmer at a single Asian Games in the history of the event and the most successful female athlete at a single Games in any sport.

Only one athlete in any sport, North Korean shooter So Gin-man, has won more golds at a single Games, when he picked up seven in 1982.

Ikee, however, has matched So for total medals won, thanks to her two silvers.

She was presented with her award - a trophy, a section of pin badges from each Games since 1951 and a cheque for $50,000 (£38,600/€43,000) - at a special ceremony here in the Main Press Centre.

Rikako Ikee set Asian Games records in all six of her gold medal wins ©Getty Images
Rikako Ikee set Asian Games records in all six of her gold medal wins ©Getty Images

"I am so happy to have this beautiful award," Ikee said afterwards.

"I was actually in shock when I heard I was being considered.

"I am grateful for the consideration, and I am so glad to have this award today."

In two years’ time, Japan’s capital Tokyo will host the Olympic Games.

Asked how she hopes to push on for that event, Ikee insisted she knows what she needs to do.

"I would like to do my best," she said.

Here at the Asian Games, Japan and China dominated the swimming, winning 38 of the 41 golds on offer between them.

South Korea and Singapore were the only other nations to pick up gold in the pool, winning one and two respectively.

Swimming has now provided four MVP award winners, including last time out in 2014, when another Japanese athlete Kosuke Hagino picked up the prize for winning four golds.

South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan won the award in 2006 and yet another Japanese swimmer, Kosuke Kitajima, won it in 2002.

Overall Japan have finished second in the medal table here with 75 golds, 56 silvers and 74 bronzes.

China topped the list with 132 golds, 92 silvers and 65 bronzes.

The 2018 Asian Games will officially end this evening with the Closing Ceremony at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium.