Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee Photo: REUTERS file
swimmer

Ikee books Olympic qualifiers spot after leukemia treatment

12 Comments

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee will compete in Olympic qualifiers in April after clinching a podium finish in her first 100 metres butterfly event since being treated for leukemia.

Ikee, who was diagnosed in February 2019 and returned to action in August last year, finished in 59.44 seconds to win bronze at the Tokyo Open on Saturday.

The 20-year-old will now compete at the Japan Swim meet, the country's only Olympic-qualifying event before the Tokyo Games which were rescheduled to begin on July 23.

The Japanese Swimming Federation's Olympic qualifying bar stands at 57.10 seconds, while Rio 2016 finalist Ikee's national record is 56.08 seconds.

"I can't say that I'm aiming for it now," Ikee said when asked about her chances of competing at her home Olympics. "When we start to get results that are world-class, we will think about it at that time."

Ikee also won the 50-meter butterfly race, a non-Olympic event, with a time of 25.77 seconds.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Ikee is the real inspirational female Japanese sports star the Japanese media should be following!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

@kipling

totally agree.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Couldn't agree more.

I think the media and a certain politician felt she let them down by getting sick!

For them they saw her only as a gold medal certainty who was going to deprive them of Olympic glory.

They didn't see her as the very decent,hardworking,inspirational person she really is.

Good luck to her in the future.

People like her give Japan hope.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Amazing!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I'm so happy for her after all she's been through.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Cancel the Tokyo Olympics. Ikee can come back in 3 years.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee is an inspiration.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good luck on the comeback and stay strong and cancer free.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"I can't say that I'm aiming for it now," Ikee said when asked about her chances of competing at her home Olympics. "When we start to get results that are world-class, we will think about it at that time."

If this is Ikee warning people to not expect too much, too soon, I hope people listen to her.

She's clearly been through a lot and there should be no extra pressure on her to win just to perfect the feelgood story. She's a winner and an inspiration regardless of gold medals.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just awe and respect. What a lady. Japan should be grateful for her. An inspiration, an example.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope she makes it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kipling

Absolutely! Not only Japanese sports but also worldwide sports coverage have to talk a lot more about such inspirational stories because those stories tell a lot about human resilience in the face of huge adversity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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