SOCHI - South Korea's reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na said she was unworried by the threat of Russian prodigy Julia Lipnitskaia as she took to the ice for the first time in Sochi on Thursday.
The 15-year-old Lipnitskaia became the youngest female figure skater in 78 years to win a gold medal after helping the Olympic host nation seal the inaugural team title.
Now she has her eyes set firmly on preventing Kim becoming only the third woman ever to win back-to-back figure skating golds at the Winter Games.
"It's different because these Winter Games are the first for her (Lipnitskaia). For me it's my last," said 23-year-old Kim after training with her teammates Park So Youn and Kim Haejin on the practice rink in Sochi.
She ran through sections of her short programme "Send in the Clowns", that included a triple-lutz, triple toeloop combination and a triple flip.
She was still on the ice when the zamboni machine arrived to resurface the ice.
Dubbed "Queen Yu-Na" by her adoring fans she has already announced that this will be her final competition.
"I heard a lot about Julia Lipnitskaia. She just debuted in the senior level, but this is my last Olympic Games. I think the experience here is different for both of us," she said.
"Every athlete tries their best. I don't want to mention anyone specifically before the Games."
If Kim wins gold, she will be the first skater to win back-to-back Olympic titles in the ladies single event, since Germany's Katarina Witt in 1988.
If she wins she will join Witt and Norway's Sonja Henie - winner in 1928, 1932 and 1936 - as the only women to win consecutive Olympic titles.
"The era in which I am participating and those of the other two are so different," she said.
"A lot of time has passed and our abilities are different. For me I am not focusing on winning the gold medal twice. I am focusing more on taking part in the Olympic Games rather than winning twice."
Canadian coach Brian Orser, now guiding Japanese star Yuzuru Hanyu, lead Kim to gold with world record scores in Vancouver but they parted ways in August 2010.
She is now with her Korean former coaches Shin Hea Sook and Ryu Jong Hyun.
"The most important thing today was getting used to the ice and continuing what I did in Korea," she said.
Kim will defend her title after 18-months off following her Vancouver success and an Olympic season hampered by a right foot injury.
She won the world title for the second time last year.
"It means a lot to me just to take part in the Olympics," she said.
"First training today I just tried to do my job. Trying to make the training like I always do in Korea.
"The ice in the rink is always different but I feel I have enough time.
"I'm trying not to think the Olympics is here. I'm not trying to do my best because it's the Olympics. I'm trying to keep things normal."
Kim's other main challenger in the individual event on February 19 and 20 will be Japan's Mao Asada - silver medallist at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.