• Kyodo


Swimmer Rikako Ikee, who was forced out of competition for 19 months after a leukemia diagnosis in February 2019, decided a Jan. 10 meet in Tokyo will be her first event of 2021, sources close to the swimmer said Sunday.

According to the sources, the 20-year-old will race the women's 100-meter freestyle in the Tokyo Swimming Association-organized event to be held at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, her first competitive swim since the intercollegiate championships in October.

Ikee opted out of the Dec. 3-6 national championships in order to focus on her cancer recovery and training. She has set her sights on competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

In December last year, she was discharged from hospital after undergoing 10 months of treatment.

She swam her first competitive race at a small meet last summer, clocking 26.32 seconds to win her 50 freestyle heat before going on to finish fifth in the final.

She will race in a 25-meter pool in the Jan. 10 event. Ikee's short-course national record time in the 100 freestyle is 51.62 seconds.

She holds the long and short course national records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, and the 50 and 100 butterfly.

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