18-year-old Asian Games MVP Rikako Ikee continues to give us insight into her battle with leukemia while keeping a distant eye on her swimming future.
The Japanese swimming superstar, who still ranks as #1 in the world across three sprint events, revealed her shocking diagnosis at the end of February, just 6 months after reaping 6 gold medals in Jakarta. She immediately began treatment for the disease, of which she said last week is, “tens of times, several hundred times, several thousand times harder” than she thought.
Not giving up hope with the next edition for the Summer Olympic Games now less than 500 days away, Ikee tweeted, “499 days until the Tokyo Olympics. I was late by one day. I will not give up yet!”
Ikee competed in the women’s 50m free, 100m free and 100m fly events in Rio, where her highest finish came in the latter event. Ikee finished 5th at just 16 years of age, with the prodigy setting a new National Record with her result. She has since lowered that mark several times and currently holds the Japanese National Records across the 50m/100m/200m freestyle in both long course and short course, as well as the 50m fly in both formats. She also is the fastest Japanese female ever in the short course 100m IM event.
— 池江 璃花子 (@rikakoikee) March 13, 2019