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Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee defies odds by securing Olympics berth

Ikee pumped her fist and acquired a hug from her competitor within the subsequent lane after ending in 57.77 seconds, qualifying her for the 4×100-meter medley relay at this summer season’s Video games.

She then broke into tears and took a while to exit the water having turn into overcome with emotion at her accomplishment.

“I’m so pleased proper now,” the 20-year-old mentioned in a poolside interview.

“I by no means thought I might be capable to win the 100. I used to be a lot much less assured than on the Olympic qualifiers 5 years in the past. I believed profitable was one thing that might solely occur within the distant future.”

Ikee had been anticipated to be certainly one of Japan’s prime medal hopefuls on the Tokyo Olympics earlier than she was identified with leukemia in 2019.

She battled again to health and returned to competitors in August final yr. However she had mentioned she was not aiming for Tokyo and that the Paris 2024 Olympics have been her aim.

“I wasn’t actually aiming for victory,” Ikee mentioned. “It doesn’t matter what place I are available in, I really feel pleased to be right here.”

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