16 years old, incredibly swam the last 50 meters of the 400 IM final, faster than men’s champion Ryan Lochte, beat her personal best by 5 seconds, broke the women’s world record for the first time since the high-tech swimsuits ban, swept Asian Games, World Championships and Olympic Games and became the youngest grand slam swimming winner in China… During the interview after the game, Ye Shiwen expressed her excitement and joy, and credited all to her hard work and perseverance. However BBC host Clare Balding implied suspicion and questioned Shiwen’s incredible swim. Her questioning was later criticized by netizens and media.
July 28th, When Clare Balding witnessed Ye Shiwen being crowned the Olympic champion with her 4 minutes 28 seconds and 43 new world record, she hesitated a little at first, then immediately turned to BBC guest commentator former British swimmer Mark Foster, “How many question will there be, Mark, about somebody who can suddenly swim so much faster than she has ever swum before?” Mark obviously heard Clare’s undertone, but he firmly defended Ye Shiwen’s reputation, “It was a five-second best time and it was the way she did it as well. Bearing in mind she is 16 years of age, and when you are young you do some big best times… it can be done.”
Clare’s question was heavily discussed on Twitter later, some audiences were behind Clare, saying she has the courage to imply that it is possible that Ye has cheated; but another group of audiences was angry of Clare belittling Chinese swimmer’s outstanding achievements. Some people even suggested that Clare should resign from her position.
Due to dissatisfied voices intensified online, BBC was under pressure to make an official statement: “The Chinese swimmer had just knocked five seconds off her personal best to break a word record; in her role as a presenter it is Clare’s job to ask the experts (in this case Mark Foster), how she managed to do it”. “There was absolutely no implication of doping."
Due to Ye Shiwen’s last 50 meters freestyle only took 28 seconds 93, which was faster than Ryan Lochte‘s 29 seconds 10, who won the men’s 400 meters medley, many American reporters also could not believe. Ryan Lochte said, “We were all talking about that at dinner last night,” "It was pretty impressive. And it was a female. She’s fast. If she was there with me, I don’t know, she might have beat me.” The U.S. men’s swimming team coach said, “Heck of a swim. You notice stuff like that… You guys can do the research. I think that’s probably the fastest women’s split ever.”
As voices of doubt grew, SwimmingWorldMagazine.com an US based magazine site criticized those who had been speculating about Shiwen.
IT was going to happen. It was only a matter of when, and with how much force. Not minutes after Chinese youngster Ye Shiwen captured the gold medal in the 400 individual medley on the opening night of Olympic competition, accusations started to fly. You know the type. She must be doping.
What a bloody shame.