An amazing feat by a young Chinese swimmer is sure dividing opinion. From doping allegations to human interest stories and it’s certainly bringing out some of the polarities still divisive in the global village.
I wonder how a sixteen year old views all this – an act of sporting excellence that becomes an unfortunate tool for reinforcing walls of bias.
For more, see
CNN – China’s ‘incredible’ Ye denies doping allegations (July 31, 2012)
BBC – China swimmer: Netizens leap to Ye Shiwen’s defence (July 31, 2012)
Guardian – Ye Shiwen row: Chinese Olympic swimmer passes doping test (July 31, 2012) – video with British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan saying World Anti-Doping Agency has passed Ye Shiwen as clean, ‘end of story‘.
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Aussie coaches defend Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s feats
Source – News.com.au, published August 1, 2012
Chinese swimming sensation Shiwen Ye has claimed another gold medal just hours after her father hit out at critics who have suggested her amazing performances have been assisted by doping.
Sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Ye shattered Stephanie Rice’s 400 individual medley record earlier this week, snapping more than a second off the old mark as she steamrolled her way to gold.
And she claimed a second win on Wednesday morning when she took out the final of the 200m individual medley, edging out another Australian, Alicia Coutts on her way to an Olympic record time.
What has caused the world to raise its eyebrows was Ye swam the final lap of her freestyle leg in the 400IM (in 28.93sec) faster than men’s champion Ryan Lochte (29.10sec), and, indeed, faster than Michael Phelps.
No man, bar the greatest swimmer and Olympian of all time Phelps, has ever swum a lap of the 400IM faster than Ye.
It is the first time in Olympic history a woman has swam faster in any lap than a male gold medallist.
Ye’s father, Ye Qingsong, told Chinese news portal Tencent that he accepted it was “normal for people to be suspicious” but added: “The western media has always been arrogant, and suspicious of Chinese people.”
As the world winces, China’s two Australian coaches have defended their swimmers and their brilliant times.
Ye trains in blocks in Queensland with Australian coaches Ken Wood and Denis Cotterell, under contracts with the Chinese.
Wood defended the Chinese swimmers by saying they simply work hard.
The Australian coach became famous, or infamous, four years ago when it emerged he was working with the Chinese swimmers ahead of the Beijing Olympics, which included sharing the training secrets of his Australian swimmer Jessica Schipper, only for a Chinese swimmer he trained to beat his own Australan swimmer in the final.
Wood is paid bonuses for Olympic gold medals and personal bests, and received a bonus for Ye’s 200m medley gold medal at last year’s world championships in Shanghai.
It is rumoured the Australian coaches are on a deal paying them bonuses of $250,000 a gold medal, $150,000 for silver and $100,000 for bronze.
“I get paid per month, per swimmer, four times more than I do with my home swimmers,” Wood told Associated Press.
“China is putting a lot of money into its program and I am only too happy to work with them.
“The whole Chinese philosophy is that they want to be the best they can.”
China has had a troubled history with doping, particularly in the 1990s when drug-fuelled muscle bound swimmers dominated the sport until eventually banned for drugs. Several Chinese swimmers were kicked out of Australia on the eve of the World Championships in Perth in 1997, with one held at customs with numerous vials of drugs.
Drawing extra suspicion to the Chinese assault in London is their training habits.