Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee defies odds by securing Olympics berth

Ikee pumped her fist and obtained a hug from her competitor within the subsequent lane after ending in 57.77 seconds, qualifying her for the 4×100-meter medley relay at this summer season’s Games.

She then broke into tears and took a while to exit the water having turn into overcome with emotion at her accomplishment.

“I am so happy right now,” the 20-year-old stated in a poolside interview.

“I never thought I would be able to win the 100. I was much less confident than at the Olympic qualifiers five years ago. I thought winning was something that would only happen in the distant future.”

Ikee had been anticipated to be one in every of Japan’s high medal hopefuls on the Tokyo Olympics earlier than she was recognized with leukemia in 2019.

She battled again to health and returned to competitors in August final 12 months. But she had stated she was not aiming for Tokyo and that the Paris 2024 Olympics had been her purpose.

“I wasn’t really aiming for victory,” Ikee stated. “No matter what place I come in, I feel happy to be here.”

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