Star Japanese Olympic swimmer diagnosed with leukaemia

Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee has revealed she has been diagnosed with leukaemia. The 18-year-old broke the news on Tuesday on her Twitter account. The announcement from one of Japan’s strongest contenders for medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has shocked the country

Star Japanese swimmer diagnosed with leukaemia
Rikako Ikee said she will rest and concentrate on her treatment so she can come back even stronger

Rikako Ikee holds multiple national records, including the 100-meter butterfly. She won six gold medals at last year’s Asian Games and was named the meet’s best swimmer. She had been expected to do well at her home Olympics next year.

Ikee returned home early from training in Australia. Around 2PM local time on Tuesday, she updated her Twitter account saying, “I have something to tell you all.”

The tweet continued, “I was feeling ill and had to cut short my training camp in Australia. Back home, I had some tests and the diagnosis was leukaemia. I still can’t believe it and am in a state of total confusion. But with treatment this is a disease that can be cured.”

Ikee, the world junior champion in 50 meter freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly, will miss the opportunity to compete at the senior Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in July.

Sources say it will take at least two or three weeks for Ikee to receive a detailed diagnosis and start full treatment.

“I am going to take some time off and focus on treatment and as soon as possible I want to show an even stronger Rikako Ikee,” Ikee added.

Ikee has expressed her determination to fight her way back to a full recovery. In her tweet, she said her illness can be cured with proper treatment. She said she will rest and focus so she can come back even stronger and that she appreciates everyone’s support.

Source: NHK Newsline Japan