Ikee Rikako back in pool for first time since cancer diagnosis

Japanese swimmer, who returned to the gym last month following leukemia battle, is finally back in the water.

By ZK Goh ·

Good news for fans of Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako: she has returned to the pool for the first time since being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Posting on her social media, the Tokyo native said it was the first time she had been in the water in 406 days.

It comes a month after the 19-year-old said she was back working out in the gym.

'Happy and comfortable'

"Finally I received permission from the hospital doctors and I was able to enter the pool," she wrote.

"I am so happy and comfortable that I can't express it in words."

Ikee was discharged from hospital in December.

She also addressed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"New viruses are spreading throughout Japan and around the world," Ikee wrote. "I will take infection prevention and countermeasures firmly.

"I hope this will be resolved soon."

Emma McKeon, Maggie MacNeil, and Sarah Sjostrom show their support for Ikee Rikako during the 2019 World Championships.

Paris 2024

Ikee appeared on Japan's TV Asahi last month to talk about her fight against cancer and potential comeback.

She will not compete this year, but hopes to make it to the following two Olympic Games at Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

"Even if I can't make Paris, I've still got the next one (in LA) when I'll be 28. I'm not 100 per cent confident but I need to give myself something to shoot for in life.

"Paris is my number one goal right now. I haven't even started swimming again but I'm already thinking about my times.

"I have dreams of myself swimming every now and then - with pretty good times, too".

Now she's back in the pool, and those good times will seem less far off.