Leukemia survivor Ikee wins another Olympic swimming berth

Japan Today -- Apr 10
Swimming star Rikako Ikee, recovering from leukemia, claimed a Tokyo Olympics berth in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay on Thursday after winning the 100-meter freestyle at Japan's national championships.

Ikee won in 53.98 seconds and has now qualified for two Olympic events. Her 100 butterfly victory on Sunday at Tokyo Aquatics Centre earned her a place on Japan's 4x100 medley relay team.

She could not grab a women's 100 freestyle spot, which required her to finish first or second and beat 53.31, as required by the Japan Swimming Federation. Relay qualification required a 54.42 time, a top-four finish and a combined time of the top four swimmers better than 3:37.68.

"I'm happy to have come below 54 seconds, but I wanted a little faster time, honestly speaking," Ikee said.

"This event was all about getting in the top four and bettering the required standard. I had a good race and was determined to come below 54 seconds so I'm glad to have got that time."

Natsumi Sakai, Chihiro Igarashi and Rika Omoto joined Ikee in qualifying for the 4x100 freestyle relay team.

In the men's 200 individual medley, Daiya Seto, assured of an Olympic berth as reigning world champion, narrowly edged Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medalist and rival Kosuke Hagino in 1:57.41.

- Japan Today