Rikako Ikee looks set to return to action on August 29 ©Getty Images

Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee has announced that she will return to competition later this month after recovering from leukemia earlier this year.

Ikee, who was diagnosed with cancer in February 2019, announced her return to training in March but was expected to miss the original dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – for which she was the poster girl before her illness.

Now, the 20-year-old will compete in the women's 50-metre freestyle at a meet in Tokyo, sanctioned by the Tokyo Swimming Association and planned for August 29, according to The Japan Times.

Ikee now has less than a year before the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were moved to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and she could return to elite level by then.

She previously stated before the postponement that she was focusing on Paris 2024, however.

Rikako Ikee was involved in the Tokyo 2020 one-year-to-go countdown last month ©Tokyo 2020
Rikako Ikee was involved in the Tokyo 2020 one-year-to-go countdown last month ©Tokyo 2020

Ikee put swimming on hold last year when she revealed that she had acute lymphatic leukemia and has not competed in a race since January 2019.

Last month, she showed footage of her training sessions since her return and stated that she was looking to come back for the Japan Intercollegiate Championships in early October.

Ikee gave an emotional speech as part of the one-year-to-go countdown for the rescheduled opening of the Tokyo 2020 Games, which are due to begin on July 23.

Her inspiring story of returning to training after her cancer recovery was told through a message of hope, and she asked viewers to be positive about the postponement of the Games.

The swimmer was considered a big home hope for Tokyo 2020 before her diagnosis, after she won six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

The achievement saw her named as the event's most valuable player.