In Comeback From Leukemia, Rikako Ikee Returns to 100 Fly With Solid Performance

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In Comeback From Leukemia, Rikako Ikee Returns to 100 Fly With Solid Performance

As Japan moves closer to its Olympic Games selection competition, various storylines continue to unfold for the host nation. During the first day of the Tokyo Open, Rikako Ikee posted the latest performance in her comeback from Leukemia while Yuki Ikari was strong in the 400 individual medley.

Having already contested the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle during her comeback, Ikee ventured into the 100 butte
rfly this weekend and managed a third-place effort off a time of 59.44. The possibility of competing at a home Games later this summer remains a major hurdle for Ikee, but the fact that she continues to move in the right direction only adds to the feel-good tale of her beating Leukemia and returning to elite form.

Last week, Ikee sent well wishes to Sarah Sjostrom after the Swede had an accident in which she fell and suffered a broken elbow. When Ikee was battling Leukemia, Sjostrom, Emma McKeon and Maggie MacNeil sent their support to their fellow competitor.

In the men’s 400 individual medley, the title went to Ikari in 4:12.84. Although the effort is well off the personal bests of Daiya Seto and Kosuke Hagino, it is a promising performance and could give Hagino something to think about on the road to Trials. Seto, as the reigning world champion, is already qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 400 medley, which leaves only one place available.

Japan also saw some additional quality performances in the 100 butterfly, as Naoki Mizunuma went 51.54 to beat the 51.83 of Takeshi Kawamoto.

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