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Rikako Iki wins Olympic ticket to Tokyo after leukemia

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese apocalyptic swimmer Ricaco Iki qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, two years after being diagnosed with leukemia.

At the new swimming venue for the Tokyo Olympics at the Japan Aponia National Championships, he swam 57.77 seconds in the 100m butterfly. It qualified him for the chaotic race.

After the race, she overcame tears in the water, then could barely speak through the water, smelling and crying at the same time. He slapped his left hand against the water when he realized he had won.

“I did not expect to win the 100 meters at all, I felt less confident than I did five years ago in the Olympic qualifiers,” he said.

“I thought I would not be able to win for a long time. But I trained hard to win. And finally, I entered the race telling myself I was back. And I feel that even if you go through suffering and pain, your hard work will always be rewarded. ”

Ike, 20, returned to the pool about a year ago but said his only goal was to prepare for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He downplayed his chances of winning the home Olympics.

Had he not been ill’s failed, he would have been one of the favorites at several Tokyo Olympics.

“I wanted to try to feel real happiness being right here,” he added. “My teammates made me happy by sending me (to the race). And now I am full of happiness. ”

Iconi won six gold medals at the 50 և 100m freestyle and, 50 և 100m butterfly at the Asian Games in Akakarta, Indonesia. He also won gold in two relays and added two pieces of silver.

His time to catch the 100-meter butterfly at Time Akarta was 56.08 seconds, the fastest of the season. She set a world record held by Sweden’s Sara Syostrom with 55.48. It remains a world record time.

At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Aneiro Olympics, he was sixth in the 100m butterfly.


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AP correspondent Yuri Kageyaman in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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