Rikako Ikee Splits 56.19 In First Post-Leukemia 400 Freestyle Relay


While competing on day 2 of the 96th Japan Student Swimming Championships, 20-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee took on her 2nd event.

Ikee already inspired spectators and athletes alike with her 4th place finish in the individual 50m freestyle on day 1.  Here at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, the Nihon University student-athlete posted a time of 25.62 to just miss the podium in the women’s 50m free event but registered her fastest time since having been away from competition for more than 600 days.

During this morning’s prelims, Ikee was back in action, unexpectedly joining teammates on the Nihon women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Along with Mayuka Yamamoto, Sachi Mochida, and Waka Kobori, Ikee helped the squad reach a collective time of 3:45.69 to claim the 2nd seed.

On her 3rd leg, Ikee put up a split of 56.19 for her first 100m freestyle in well over a year. For perspective, her teammates split as follows: 56.92 for Yamamoto, 55.75 for Mochida, and 56.83 for Kobori.

Ikee owns the Japanese national record in the individual 100m free event with the 52.79 logged at the 2018 Kosuke Kitajima Cup.

Ikee was not part of the final foursome here in Tokyo, with Suzuka Hasegawa taking her place. The final squad found up taking 3rd place behind winner Kanto Gakuen University. However, the fact Ikee took on twice the distance she has swum to date is a good sign of her overall health.


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1 month ago

Exceptional – truly an inspiration.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  YaYeeter
1 month ago

why would someone downvote this

1 month ago

She’s a superhero

The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

Very impressive. So happy to see her recover.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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