London - Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe has played down his chances of making a fairytale comeback at next year's Olympics, saying he is not expecting to add his tally of five gold medals.
Thorpe, who will return to swimming at the Singapore World Cup event next month, told the BBC in an interview on Thursday he is relaxed about his Olympic chances as he "expects to fail."
The 29-year-old's return to the Olympic pool is expected to be one of the highlights of the London games, with feverish anticipation already building about the prospect of a duel between Thorpe and America's Michael Phelps.
But Thorpe, who quit the sport in 2006 before announcing his comeback in February this year, insists challenging for a podium finish remains a long shot.
"I'm more concerned about (being really successful) because that's what I'm not prepared for," he told the BBC.
"I'm more comfortable knowing that, chances are, I'm going to fail at this. I've become comfortable with that.
"I'm more prepared to struggle through this whole thing and just enjoy it because I've never experienced that in my career.
"I don't think anyone's done this before with the timeframe that I have. Realistically, it's probably too short.
"For some reason, in my mind, this is helping me. It's making it harder so I'm more focused."
Thorpe says he is targeting personal bests rather than medals.
"My goal at the start - and this will remain my goal through the Olympics - was to be able to swim faster than I used to," he added.
"If at any stage I didn't think I could do that, I don't know if I'd continue.
"Medals are good but, for us in swimming, times are better because you have very little control over who wins.
"The best way to win the nicer-coloured medals is to make sure your process is a lot better than everyone else's. Simple as that."