By Sportswriter Zhou Xin
TIANJIN, China, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- With a less than satisfactory year of 2013 to follow a brilliant 2012, China's double Olympic champion Ye Shiwen has set her eyes on the 2014 Asian Games.
"I am looking forward to next year's Asian Games because my first international event was the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou where I put up wonderful performances. I'd always like to think about it," said the 17-year-old who breezed to lift the 200m individual medley title at the East Asian Games in Tianjin on Friday.
"I had a marvelous memory of the Asian Games which was the start point of my career. Since there isn't any other major event next year, I hope to revive my sweet dream at the Asian Games," she added.
As for the year of 2013, Ye admitted that her form dropped sharply following her stunning performances at London Olympic Games in 2012.
"My form is not as good as 2012. Maybe one of the reasons is that I put on some weight and got heavier in the water. I am right in the middle of body development and almost five kilograms heavier than I was in 2012."
Ye, who took two Olympic golds in 200m and 400m individual medley, had a poor world championships outing in Barcelona in August, without taking any medal in her favorite events.
"I was heavier and not in good shape in Barcelona," she recalled. "On the other hand, I was too eager to show my best while I was not in peak form. The stress made me sleepless before and during the world championships, and the results were terrible."
Fortunately, one month after a disappointing Barcelona journey, Ye claimed both IM titles with pretty good results at the National Games in early September. Ye said she "had waken up from a nightmare".
"Barcelona is the past, and I want to look on the bright side of it. It is a valuable lesson," she said.
"I am happy that I came back and restored my confidence from the National Games, which is a new start. There is an old saying that 'failure is the mother of success', while my coach Xu Guoyi disagrees, saying one can only get more success from success," Ye said.
"You find confidence from victory and get used to the success, which leads you to more and more victories. That's the victory theory of my coach. I believe in him."
Ye thinks Hungary's world champion Katinka Hosszu is her strongest rival.
"Hosszu is very strong. I am impressed that she competed in so many events in so many stops during the 2012/13 FINA World Cup Short Course. I really want to compete in as many World Cup events as possible, just like Hosszu. I want to test my stamina," Ye said.
While Hosszu is Ye's rival in major international events, there are some rising youngsters who had challenged Ye in the Chinese National Games.
Ye was chased by the 15-year-old Chen Xinyi before clinching a 0.27-second victory in the 200m IM. Chen also won two titles in the 50 and 100m freestyle and she once said her aim is to beat Ye.
"I don't see the younger swimmers as serious threat. I'm not afraid of challenge," Ye said.
After the East Asian Games, Ye will compete in the Chinese National Championships later this month. "It is my last big event of the year," Ye said.