• Kyodo

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Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee marked the second anniversary of her leukemia diagnosis Monday with an upbeat message on social media.

A day after swimming second in the Japan Open women’s 50-meter freestyle, her first podium finish since returning to competition, Ikee reached out to her followers on Instagram.

“If I could speak to myself from two years ago, I’d say, you’ll be able to smile a lot more in two years’ time,” Ikee wrote. “I’ve really done my best so far.”

The message was accompanied by a photo of a tearful yet smiling Ikee, taken by her manager following the diagnosis.

“Two years ago today, I fell to the lowest point in my life. I will never forget that day,” she wrote.

In a separate post, Ikee also encouraged Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom, who faces a lengthy recovery after falling on ice and breaking her elbow.

Along with a photo of herself with the words “Never give up Sarah” written on her hands, Ikee posted a message of support in English and Japanese for Sjostrom, the 2016 Olympic 100-meter butterfly champion.

“Never give up! Sarah!! She gave me the power. It’s my turn to give it back to her,” Ikee wrote.

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