Japan Getting Early Training in at London Aquatic Center

LONDON, England, July 21. LESS than a week away from the commencement of the 2012 London Games, the Japanese contingent has put in some time at the London Aquatic Center to gear up for the competition.

Breaststroke star Kosuke Kitajima, who is looking to become the first man to ever win the same event in three consecutive Olympics (unless Michael Phelps beats him to it in the men's 400 IM), enjoyed his time at the pool.

“I'm feeling good about this pool. I just arrived the day before, yesterday, so I feel a little tired. But I have one week to go so I want to improve my condition,” Kitajima said. “I am prepared to enjoy the Olympic Games, and I want to try my hardest.”

One of Kitajima's biggest threats to successful title defenses in the men's 100 and 200 breaststroke is his compatriot Ryo Tateishi. Tateishi, for Kitajima, is in a similar role as Ian Crocker once played to Phelps. They both want to reach their potentials with wins, but have the added pressure that their success could come at the expense of historic victories for their own teammates.

“I have one more week to prepare so I'm taking care of what I eat,” Tateishi said. “This week, I want to follow my routine and I don't want anything serious to happen.”