Although realistic about her current standing in the swimming world, Japanese prodigy and leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee is determined to muscle up and impress at the world championships in July in Fukuoka as she pursues a path to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Ikee appeared at the 2015 and 2017 worlds as well as the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics before being diagnosed with the disease in February 2019. She made a miraculous recovery to make Japan's Tokyo Olympic team in 2021, and will now make her third appearance at worlds in butterfly and freestyle.

Her return to overseas competition in May, however, resulted in disappointment. Ikee failed to win in her favorite race, the 50-meter fly, at the three Mare Nostrum meets in France, Spain and Monaco, but was happy to rejoin the international scene.