Rice upbeat after latest injury scare
Australia's Stephanie Rice insisted Monday she felt fine after the latest injury scare to dog her build-up to the London Olympic Games.
Stephanie Rice's recent neck problem came on top of a long-term shoulder injury which has hampered the 24-year-old's chances of defending the 200m and 400m medley relay titles she won in Beijing four years ago.
But Rice, whose shoulder injury requires treatment after every training session, told a news conference Monday: "I feel much better today in terms of the neck.
"We did a time-trial the other day and I pulled my suit off and just kinked it (the neck) a little. It's fine, it wouldn't be a high pressure preparation without something going a bit not to plan but I feel like I'm really capable of handling things like that at the moment.
"It's been a very rough and up and down prep," Rice added. "I'm just so excited to come into this last week before racing and focus on the mental side of things.
"Going into the (athletes') village and seeing the pool for the first time was really exciting."
Rice, who also won a 4x200m freestyle relay gold four years ago, said she felt no special pressure in being a defending Olympic champion.
"My goals are pretty similar to what I had going into Beijing. I'm not someone who likes to consider an end performance as a win or lose sort of situation.
"I never like to talk about winning, it's not just the way I like to think about things.
"For me it's more about the process and I think putting in a good preparation gives you the confidence you need to line-up in a really high-pressure environment.
"My preparation hasn't been spectacular and definitely has been very different to what it was four years ago.
"That said, I've done absolutely everything I possibly could have and that was the feeling I wanted to have standing behind the blocks, just knowing I couldn't have done anything more and I'm really proud of the character I've had to have to get to this point in time.
"So anything beyond making a final is truly a blessing."