Olympians react to Ikee Rikako’s Tokyo Olympics qualification

Sarah Sjostrom, Pernille Blume, Bruno Fratus all rushed to congratulate the Japanese swimmer, who was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by Yomiuri

The world is in desperate need of feel-good stories right now, and Ikee Rikako has delivered with aplomb.

The Japanese swimmer has only been back in the pool seven months after being diagnosed with leukemia two years ago.

But yesterday, April 4th, she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. A simply outstanding achievement against all the odds.

The story rippled through Japan and the swimming world in a matter of seconds, with many Olympians voicing their delight for Ikee on social media.

The list includes Rio 2016 gold medallists Sarah Sjöström, Katinka Hosszu, Emma McKeon and Pernille Blume, as well as 2012 Olympic champion Chad le Clos, who labelled the moment 'inspirational' on his Instagram stories.

Below, we take a look at a selection of the online well-wishers.

Three-time Olympic medallist Sarah Sjostrom calls Ikee 'Amazing'
Women's 50m freestyle Olympic champion Pernille Blume tells Ikee Rikako that she's 'proud'.

'Olympians never give up'

Also the International Committee President Thomas Bach shared his congratulations with the 20-year-old swimmer:

"Olympians never give up. Congratulations to cancer survivor Rikako Ikee for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics only two years after being diagnosed with leukemia. Can't wait to see you in Tokyo.”