Speedskating medal hopefuls Joji Kato and Keiichiro Nagashima on Sunday tested the ice ahead of the men's 500-meter sprint.

"I'm trying to stay aware of my surroundings to control my nerves," said the former world-record holder Kato, who looked relaxed as he approached South Korean medal rival Mo Tae-bum to chat.

Nagashima glided round the course and gave his coach the thumbs up after going through the movements of the sprint start.

"I'm really anxious," he said, though his eyes shone with confidence. "I've done everything I can."

Kato and Nagashima, who took bronze and silver, respectively, in the 500 at the Vancouver Games four years ago, compete on Monday along with compatriots Yuya Oikawa, who placed fourth at the 2006 Turin Games, and Yuji Kamijo, an Olympic newcomer.