Rikako Ikee, 18, who won six swimming gold medals at the Asian Games, revealed that she has leukemia on her Twitter account on Feb. 12.

Her message read:

“Dear those who have encouraged me and people concerned.

“Thank you for your continuous support. I was diagnosed with leukemia after urgently returning from Australia due to my bad health condition and taking an examination. I still cannot believe this, and it is confusing for me. However, leukemia is a disease that can be completely cured with sufficient treatment.

“For my schedule from now, I have no choice but to give up competing at the national swimming championships. I will now take a little rest and focus on treatment so that I can show you a stronger Rikako Ikee as soon as possible. If you continue to look over me with warm eyes, I will be happy.”

The Japan Swimming Federation (JSF) held an urgent news conference from 4 p.m. on Feb. 12.

Jiro Miki, Ikee’s coach, said the swimmer had complained about her health condition several times during practice in Australia.

“I have never seen her like that,” Miki told the news conference. “Sometimes she was breathing so hard she had to use her shoulders.”

He said a doctor advised Ikee to return to Japan and take another examination as soon as possible.

Miki said he talked with Ikee about her disease on Feb. 10.

“At the beginning, both of us had no words to say. Although she should have felt numb, Ikee then said, ‘I want to do my best to both cure the disease as soon as possible and practice together with you once again.’”

Miki told reporters that he would do whatever he could to respond to her will.

“I was stunned to see her showing such a positive attitude and a strong intention to definitely beat leukemia,” Miki said. “We need to doff our hats to her attitude toward the disease. We want to support her.”

Koji Ueno, vice president of the JSF, said Ikee was shocked when she heard the name of the diagnosed disease.

“She was too confused to think about the national swimming championships or the 2020 Olympic Games,” Ueno said. “But she made positive comments less than two hours (after the disease was diagnosed.)”

On whether Ikee will be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games, Ueno said: “We have no idea at this point. We need to focus on treating the disease. Please watch over her with warm eyes.”

Ikee was born in Tokyo on July 4, 2000.

She made it to the finals of the 100-meter butterfly event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Last year, she won the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships for the first time, and her gold medal tally at the Asian Games held in Jakarta earned her the Most Valuable Player award for the competition.