Rikako Ikee Races 200 Freestyle For 2nd Time Since Return To Competition

Leukemia survivor and two-time Olympian Rikako Ikee of Japan got right back into competition at a domestic event this week. The 21-year-old Renaissance swimmer raced at the 66th annual Nihon versus Chuo University dual meet, with Ikee taking the 200m free in a time of 2:01.93.

This is the second time Ikee diving in for the 200m freestyle since being released from the hospital in late 2019 and returning to competition in August of 2020.

Her previous 2free performance came in May when she produced a result of 2:08.44, so she’s making major progress in this event in she holds the Japanese national record. Ikee owns that mark with her lifetime best of 1:54.85 from when she grabbed gold at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.

Ikee reiterated after the race that she felt truly fortunate to have participated in the home-based Olympic Games in Tokyo and that she indeed has Paris 2024 in her sights. Whereas she raced in strictly a relay capacity in the former, she has designs on repeating her appearances in individual freestyle and butterfly events from Rio at the next Games 3 years from now.

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Coach Mike 1952
1 year ago

Thinking ahead to Paris or even Worlds 2023, if Ms. Ikee fully heals & regains her form, there could be 5 women under 56 in the 100 fly. She was already so close. That would be something.

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Terrific news. I’m not sure Ikee will be ready by world championships next year, especially in the more strenuous events like butterfly and 200 freestyle. We should have a better idea by 2023.

One note: Taylor Ruck won gold in those 2018 Pan Pacs. Ikee was a close second.

1 year ago

Love seeing stories about her competing and back in the water. You are an inspiration!

Although, I’m still annoyed at the Japanese swimming federation not selecting her. I mean, are they all patting each other on the back now and saying “whew, so glad we didn’t select Ikee to swim in the Olympics. Job well done boys!”???

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