Japanese Star Rikako Ikee Diagnosed With Leukemia

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Japanese national record holder Rikako Ikee has been diagnosed with leukemia, sharing the news in a tweet on Tuesday.

Ikee wrote a lengthy post in Japanese. When roughly translated, it reads:

“Thank you all for your support and everyone involved. Thank you for your support and support from around the day. At this time, I was diagnosed with an emergency return from Australia as a bad condition, and I have a diagnosis of “leukemia.”

“Myself, I still can’t believe it, and it’s a confused situation. But if you do a solid treatment, it’s also a disease that will heal. As a schedule for the future, I have to give up the competition of the Japanese Championship. Now I’m going to take a little rest and devote myself to treatment.”

According to an article that appeared in The Japan Times, the 18-year old is currently hospitalized after the disease was found in the early stages. The swimmer had been training down in Australia, but cut the trip short after chronic fatigue and poor results in training.

“I had never seen her breathing as heavily as that,” her coach, Jiro Miki shared with The Japan Times. “We took her to a local hospital to check her blood and heart but decided to return to Japan as quickly as possible to undergo further tests,” he elaborated. “But as for her motivation to beat this disease, I can only bow my head at her determination.”

Ikee will be skipping the upcoming National Championships in April, which serve as Japan’s qualifying meet for the 2019 World Championships, in order to undergo treatment for the disease.

“I will rest a little and dedicate myself to treatment,” the swimmer said. “I will strive to show you an even stronger version of myself. Thank you for your encouragement and warm thoughts.”

Ikee is the national record holder in the 50, 100, and 200 free and 50 and 100 fly, and was named the MVP of the 2018 Asian Games after winning six gold medals, all in record time.

Olympian and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom was one of the first international swimmers to throw support behind Ikee, posting on her Instagram account that her “eyes are filled with tears” reading the news of her friend’s diagnosis, and that she was “Sending all my strength and love to you!”

The Japan Times contributed to this report.

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Pablo Valedon
5 years ago


Donovon O'Rally
5 years ago

Damn…SHE looks soo Healthy….
All the Best n Blessed Be…

Charlene Tallen
5 years ago

I hope she can have a full recovery and come back even stronger than before ?

Coral Whisenand
5 years ago


Kristi Sprinkle Hall
5 years ago

Prayers for her and her family is she faces cancer.

Judit Simi Konrády
5 years ago

Remélem,hogy legyőzi!

Helen Keyes
5 years ago

Get better soon xx

Marissa Walsh
5 years ago

Prayers for her.

Larissa Al-Uar
5 years ago


Catriona McCole
5 years ago

Wishing her a speedy recovery. X

Teddy Axas
5 years ago

Get well soon

Sandra Rattray
5 years ago


Jairo Waiswol
5 years ago

ABRALE – Associação Brasileira de Linfoma e LeucemiaMerula Anargyrou Steagall

Bob McKeon
5 years ago

Terrible – good luck – god bless

Peter Sabbe
5 years ago

Get well soon !

Melanie Loo
5 years ago


Rick Farris
5 years ago

Prayers for her speedy and healthy recovery! Hopefully, she will come back as strong as ever.

Liu Kwok Kuen
5 years ago

Speedy and complete recovery from the disease
Pray for her !

Melanie Englehart Stevens

Praying for her recovery

Dilek Newlon
5 years ago

Wishing her a full recovery. ??

Francis Seugi
5 years ago

????Praying to your recovery champion

5 years ago

My 1.5 year daughter last year diagnosed leukemia..i was a swimmer also and i know what is that. Hang on sister everything will be fine. We are praying for you

Judy Arroyo
5 years ago


Nancy Pa Tucker
5 years ago

Speedy recovery I have leukemia A.L.L. And beat it so can you

Donna Pim
5 years ago

Wishing you a speedy recovery xxx and love through this awful illness

João Carlos Repka
5 years ago

Ok God

Aley McClung Minton
5 years ago

Prayers for her, her medical team, and healing!

Rob Duguay
5 years ago

Speedy Recovery

Jason Aldrich
5 years ago

Jordan Aldrich

Aries Indratmoko
5 years ago


Tara Mack
5 years ago


Martin Berbetti Guzmán

Swimax William Reynaga terrible!

Swimax William Reynaga

La natación además se vio conmovida por lo de Adrian , Pernille Blume y el italiano Manuel Bortuzzo. Que todos ellos se mejoren.

Martin Berbetti Guzmán

Swimax William Reynaga así es…mala racha de los ídolos.

Kelly Ferguson-Mojdeh
5 years ago

Sending you prayers of healing… god bless you!

Tina Marie Greco
5 years ago

Get well Rikako! Praying for you in Anaheim

Adrian Hyland
5 years ago

Horrendous news! Thoughts & prayers with you and your family Rikako.

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