04.08.2021 at 15:05 EST
Japanese swimmer Rikako ikee achieved a second place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the free 4×100 relay, after winning a new national competition this Thursday.
Ikee, who returned to the pools last year after being away from them for nineteen months due to leukemia, won the 100-meter freestyle at the Japan National Championships held at the new Tokyo Aquatic Center, with a time of 53.98 seconds .
The swimmer could not, however, secure a place for the 100 meters freestyle in international competition, for which the Japanese National Federation establishes to achieve a first or second position and lower the 53’31 seconds.
“Before the competition I had doubts if I could reach my goal (to drop 54 seconds) or finish in fourth place” to achieve qualification, said the Japanese after leaving the pool.
Although she was “happy” for that first place and for achieving her time goal, she acknowledged that “she wanted to get a better mark.” Ikee he is chasing 53 seconds to achieve his personal record in the test, which is currently 53’14.
Ikee qualified for the free 4×100 relay together with Natsumi Sakai, Chihiro Igarashi and Rika omoto.
The 20-year-old swimmer had already managed to secure her first place in the 4×100 styles relay at the next Tokyo Games, which is scheduled to open on July 23, after winning the 100-meter butterfly in the national competition.
Ikee She returned to the pool in March 2020 after being discharged after an anticancer treatment and returned to compete in August of that year.
The Japanese then announced that her goal was to be in Paris 2024, but the delay of the Tokyo Games until 2021 has given her the opportunity to compete for a medal in front of her public at the sports event that will host the Japanese capital.
The swimmer will compete on Saturday in another test with the option of a third pass for the Games, the 50-meter freestyle.
Until she was diagnosed with leukemia, her career was marked by six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and, in a career as a swimmer that began at age 15, she previously scored two gold medals at the Swimming World Cup. Junior that was played in Singapore, in 50 and 100 butterfly meters.