Leukemia survivor Ikee adds two more titles at Japan championships | Inquirer Sports
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Leukemia survivor Ikee adds two more titles at Japan championships

/ 06:48 PM April 10, 2021
Rikako Ikee

FILE PHOTO: Rikako Ikee of Japan reacts after winning the women’s 100 metres butterfly final at the national swimming championships at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan April 4, 2021, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Kyodo/via REUTERS

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee won the women’s 50-meter freestyle and 50m butterfly events at the national championships on Saturday, less than eight months after she returned to competition following her recovery from leukemia.

Ikee finished in 24.84 seconds in the 50m freestyle, missing the 24.46 seconds mark she needed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 23.

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The 20-year-old had warmed up by winning the non-Olympic 50m butterfly with a time of 25.56 seconds.

She wrapped up the national championships with four titles.

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On Thursday, she won the 100m freestyle after finishing in 53.98 seconds. She missed the 53.31 seconds needed to qualify for the individual 100m freestyle at the Olympics but booked her ticket for the 400m relay.

Ikee also won the 100m butterfly on Sunday, which secured her an Olympic spot in the 4×100 medley relay – unthinkable only months ago as she was returning to fitness after her cancer treatment.

Ikee, who won six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games, was expected to be one of Japan’s top medal hopefuls at the Olympics before she was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2019.

She battled back and returned to competition in August last year.

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TAGS: Japan, Lukemia, Rikako Ikee, Swimming
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