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Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee defies odds by securing Olympics berth

April 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 56.7%. 1 min read.

Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee defied the odds and secured an Olympics berth after the leukemia survivor won the women's 100-meter butterfly at the national championships on Sunday, less than eight months after she returned to competition.

Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee defied the odds and secured an Olympics berth after the leukemia survivor won the women's 100-meter butterfly at the national championships on Sunday, less than eight months after she returned to competition.

"I am so happy right now," the 20-year-old said in a poolside interview.

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 expected to be one of Japan's top medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympics before she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019.

But she had said she was not aiming for Tokyo and that the Paris 2024 Olympics were her goal.

"I wasn't really aiming for victory," Ikee said.

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