Rikako Ikee: Japanese swimmer qualifies for Olympics two years after leukaemia diagnosis

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Rikako Ikee
Ikee won a record six golds and two silvers at the 2018 Asian Games

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 4x100m medley relay two years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

The 20-year-old won the 100m butterfly at Japan’s Olympic trials in 57.77 seconds to seal her place.

“I was really happy but also really surprised,” she said.

Ikee resumed training in March last year after spending about 10 months in hospital.

After her first comeback victory in the 50m butterfly at February’s Tokyo Open she said she did not expect to appear at this year’s games.

“I didn’t know what had just happened. It was a feeling I had never experienced before,” she added.

“I didn’t think I had a chance in the butterfly at all. I thought if I was to get in it might be the 100m freestyle relay.

“I thought if it wasn’t to be, it wasn’t to be. If I did get in it would be good experience to take to the next Olympics.”

Ikee missed the 57.10secs individual qualifying time but will have chances to clinch an individual spot this week at the Japanese trials when she races in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

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