Japan's Olympic swimming champion Kosuke Kitajima says he does not feel pressure going for a third straight breaststroke double in London, insisting he is "really calm" going into the Games.
"I don't feel thrilled as I did when I took part for the first time or feel like going for it as I did later," the 29-year-old said, according to a report Friday in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
"I am not even under pressure to go and get the gold medal. I am really calm this time," said Kitajima, who won the breaststroke 100m and 200m at the Athens and Beijing Games after his medal-less Olympic debut in 2000.
Los Angeles-based Kitajima has battled injury since Beijing to establish himself again as an Olympic favourite with a strong showing at the Japanese Olympic trials in April.
Kitajima won both the 100m and 200m at the national meet with the world's best times in both distances this season. His 200m time of 2:08.00 was the world's fastest time since high-tech polyurethane swimsuits were banned in 2010.
In the 100m he clocked 58.90 to become the second swimmer to duck under 59 seconds since the suits were banned.
Kitajima shrugged off the comeback of his longtime American rival Brendan Hansen, 30, who had retired after Beijing 2008 where he finished fourth in the 100m. Hansen also got the 100m silver and the 200m bronze in Athens.
"I don't particularly think anything about Hansen," Kitajima said. "I no longer dwell on how other people are."
He said he wanted to get under 59 seconds again in the 100m in London.
In the 200m, he said he would "break away from the start."
"I will race in a way to help the spectators enjoy," Kitajima said. "That's my style and the only thing that hasn't changed, I guess."