Olympic butterfly silver medallist Lu Ying has criticised China's restrictive training methods compared to the freedom of working out in Australia.
Lu, who finished runner-up to American Dana Vollmer in Sunday's 100m butterfly final, gave a rare insight into the closed world of Chinese swimming.
The 23-year-old, who was a bronze medallist behind Vollmer in the 100m butterfly at last year's Shanghai world championships, said the emphasis in Australian swimming was on having fun.
"Before training they (the Australians) go and have fun, they are not afraid of being tired before training," she said.
"In China, before any competition, you have to be rested and focused and you can't think of anything else.
"It is really different in Australia, I think our way of thinking has many limits and we set the limits.
China's Lu Ying competes in the women's 100m butterfly semi-final at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Lu, who went on to win silver in the final of the event, has criticised China's restrictive training methods compared to the freedom of working out in Australia, giving a rare insight into the closed world of Chinese swimming.
"They (Australia) have an enthusiasm for swimming which makes me feel different and you ask yourself 'do you train for yourself or someone else?'"
Lu, who had a spell training in Australia, praised the social side of her time abroad, being invited to barbecues and meals in people's homes.
"Australian friends and families have invited me to barbecues or even for breakfast and in China that never happens," she said.
"When I trained in Australia, I had a coach who specialised in short distances and I trained with men, not just women," Lu said, highlighting the differences between the two disparate sporting cultures.
China has sent more of their elite swimmers to train under Australian coaches in recent years.
Sun Yang, who became the first Chinese men's Olympic swimming champion when he won the 400m freestyle gold on Saturday, showed the benefits of his time in Australia under Grant Hackett's former coach Denis Cotterell on Queensland's Gold Coast.