A Japanese swimmer who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics just months after completing cancer treatment is encouraging people who are fighting the same disease.
Ikee Rikako took top place Sunday in the women's 100-meter butterfly final at Japan's national championships --- her first in 3 years.
The 20-year-old swimming star was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019. She returned to competition in August last year following a 10-month hospital stay.
The athlete had been aiming for the 2024 Paris games --- but will now go for gold in the 400-meter medley relay this summer.
The Japan Marrow Donor Program celebrated Ikee's achievement, commenting on Twitter it was "overwhelmed" and hoped her success would deepen understanding of the illness and encourage people to donate their bone marrow.
The program's Kojima Masaru said, "I think this news gave hope to the patients fighting this illness, and to their families and others.
The bone marrow bank is a system to register people willing to donate bone marrow for transplants, which are effective in treating leukemia and other diseases.