Reigning champion Katinka Hosszu (HUN) offered some tips for success as she led a star-studded international line-up of athletes to help kick-start the Japan leg of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2015 series on Tuesday.

The Hungarian has won the series for the past three years, and has a substantial lead in this year's points table with three of the eight legs remaining.
She was joined on the official press conference panel in Tokyo by Japanese duo Natsumi Hoshi and Kanako Watanabe, Australians Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm, Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, and Jennie Johansson of Sweden.

Hosszu, who holds five world records, reckons what sets her apart is mental fortitude.

"For me, being a winner so many times comes from not over-obsessing. I'm not afraid to fail and to challenge myself, to try to push the limits.

"It's mostly mental. I don't think I do anything special to recover physically. It's more about working hard and being mentally ready for that challenge on your body."

Kanako (JPN) & Katinka (HUN) & Alia (JAM)

Hosszu is the 100m and 200m backstroke and individual medley short-course world record holder. She added the long-course 200m individual medley to her haul of world bests at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, earlier this year.

Her husband Shane Tusup coaches her on a one-to-one basis.

"After the 2012 Olympics I started training with him, and it's been my greatest three years. There's a lot of positives and negatives, of course, when you're working with your significant other.

"We basically spend 24 hours together, so in Kazan when I broke the record, it was so much more special to share that with Shane than with someone else."

Japan's Hoshi is already gearing up for the Rio Olympics in 2016, having landed 200m breaststroke gold in Kazan.

"This is the first major event for me since Kazan. I'm treating this event as the start of the Olympic year for Rio," she said.

"There are a lot of star swimmers participating. training and working really hard here, so it might be difficult to get a world record."

Hoshi's compatriot, Watanabe, handed her coach the 200m breaststroke gold she won in Kazan this year and suggested she'd do the same next time too.

"If I won a second gold I would like to put it around the neck of my coach again, but I would like to also maybe put it around the neck of my parents, because they really cheer for me and support me well."



"It's one of my favourite stops for the World Cup," she said.

"It's a very nice city, and the people here are very nice and polite. You know when you come here you always have a good time in the pool, and in the time you spend outside the pool."

"Of course I want to swim well, but also to enjoy some good food and some time downtown. Yesterday I went to Roppongi Hills to walk on the roof and see the view. On Friday, hopefully I'll have time to do some shopping or just sit down in a restaurant having heaps of sushi - I love it."

Her enthusiasm was shared by the Australian pair Larkin and Seebohm.

"This is my third time. This is a fantastic city, and as Jennie mentioned, the people here are fantastic," said Larkin.

"We went out to a lot of temples today and we got to test our luck with fortune papers. Unfortunately we both got bad luck. Hopefully we can change that here and swim well. I know we're both excited to race here."

Also attending the official press conference were FINA Bureau member Dr Kazuo Sano, and Motokuni Takaoka, the founder and CEO of sponsor airweave.