Japan is marking Coming of Age Day on Monday, a national holiday honoring people reaching the legal start of adulthood at age 20. Among the youngsters celebrating this year is a swimming star who has returned to competition after fighting leukemia.
Ikee Rikako, who turned 20 last July, says she will strive to be both a strong adult and athlete. She released a photo of herself wearing a kimono that was taken in September.
Ikee returned to competition last August, racing in events such as the Inter College Swimming Championships in October. She has continued training since her comeback.
But the coronavirus pandemic is casting a shadow over this year's holiday. Ikee says she has been able to welcome the Coming of Age Day safely despite circumstances that were unimaginable a year ago.
Ikee is set to compete in the Kosuke Kitajima Cup starting on January 22. That will be her first event of the year and her first 100-meter freestyle race since going back to competition.