Ikee returns to the “Beginning of His Second Swimming Life” race on August 29 at 10:24 p.m.
Ikee Kako, a competitive swimmer who has been aiming to return to competition from leukemia, competed in the women’s 50-meter freestyle at a tournament held in Tokyo on 29 September. Ikee, who finished the return race, said, “I was very nervous, but I was able to update my target time significantly and get off to a good start. I think it was the beginning of my second swimming life.”
As he raced for the first time in about a year and seven months, he said, “I was thinking about swimming without thinking about anything. After all, when I stood in front of the starting table, I realized that I had come back. I dive with all my might for the first time in a long time, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get goggles just before the race, so I held my face all the time.”
As for the race, he said, “I was too tired to move in the last 15 meters, but I didn’t want to lose. I’m happy to be the first in the group this time, but on the other hand, I can imagine how frustrating it was when we didn’t win the coming match. I felt that I still didn’t want to lose as an athlete.”
As for the scene where he showed tears immediately after the race, he said, “I saw the people who supported me with my fighting disease up close, and I cried,” and then he said, “It was an opportunity for me to recover so far and finally show people how I came back, so I was relieved to be able to finish it safely.”
Looking forward to the future, he said, “When I was incare last September, I definitely wanted to come out next year, so I want to explode that thought and show my thoughts. My first goal is to compete in the Paris Olympics, so I want to get my strength back and gradually put out time.”