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Rikako Ikee enrolls at university while continuing battle against leukemia

Kyodo

Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee, who has put her athletic career on hold to undergo treatment for leukemia, has enrolled at Nihon University’s College of Sports Sciences, her management company said Monday.

Ikee has joined the swimming club at the university in Tokyo, but skipped Monday’s enrolment ceremony due to her treatment. She passed the school’s entrance exam in October.

The 18-year-old Ikee stunned Japan, along with the international swimming community, when she announced her diagnosis in February.

Before her illness, Ikee was considered likely to be one of the faces of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Though she has pulled out of competition, including the national championships running through Monday, she has said she still hopes to compete at her home Olympics.

Ikee shot to fame at last summer’s Asian Games in Jakarta, where she was named the first female MVP after becoming the first swimmer to win six gold medals, all in Games-record times.