Rikako Ikee, Japan swim star, eyes 2024 Olympics after leukemia

Rikako Ikee
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Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee, who announced she was diagnosed with leukemia in February, was discharged after a 10-month hospitalization and wants to return for the 2024 Paris Olympics, according to her social media.

“There were times when I had strong nausea from the medication or a sense of fatigue, but I kept telling myself, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK, it will end at some point,'” was posted, according to a Kyodo News translation. “I want to work hard with a goal of competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics and winning a medal.”

Ikee, 19, became Japan’s premier female swimmer in 2017 and 2018.

She won the 100m butterfly at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, the year’s major international meet, clocking the fastest time in the world for the year. She also took silver in the 200m freestyle ahead of Katie Ledecky. She later earned six golds, including four in individual events, at the Asian Games.

Ikee finished fifth in the 100m butterfly as a 16-year-old at the Rio Olympics.

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