Rikako Ikee of Japan may be changing up her return to racing plans based on meet capacity restrictions now attached to the competition she was targeting for October.
As we reported last month, Ikee said she was targeting the Japan Intercollegiate Championships, an annual meet slated for October, as her monumental first meet back. However, the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) has now decided at its latest board meeting that only the top 32-40 fastest athletes will be invited to participate per individual event, with times ranked from April 2019 onward.
Ikee’s last competition was the Yowa Sprint in January of 2019, nearly 19 months ago.
Any result would be an inspirational accomplishment for Ikee, as the swimming star is still ramping up her routine after having spent nearly a year in the hospital undergoing treatments for acute lymphocytic leukemia. Just months after having earned the first-ever MVP title at an Asian Games in 2018, Ikee revealed her diagnosis in February of 2019 and was only released from the hospital in December of that year after intense chemotherapy treatments.