Chinese teen faster than US men’s best
Tue, 31 Jul 2012 5:25a.m.
By John Salvado
The International Olympic Committee's medical boss has thrown his support behind Ye Shiwen, saying there is no reason to have suspicions over the Chinese teenager's remarkable victory in the women's 400m individual medley in London.
Ye's final lap was quicker than that by American Ryan Lochte in his dominant victory in the equivalent men's race.
China's appalling past record for their swimmers failing doping tests has led to inevitable suspicions over the 16-year-old, who took five seconds off her personal best and more than a second off the world record in the 400m IM.
The swim was described as "insanely fast" by former Australian world record holder Stephanie Rice.
"I have no idea. I wouldn't want to get into that at all," Rice said. "I know she's a good freestyler, I was next to her at worlds in the 200IM last year and she came home over the top of me in that freestyle leg and I'm not exactly a bad freestyler, so she's a gun."
But IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist did not express any concerns.
"I am pretty experienced in this matter, as you know, and have been at the Games since a long time and within anti doping for 40 years," said Ljungqvist.
"Should I have my suspicions I keep them for myself, first of all, and take any action, if so, in order to find out whether something is wrong or not.
"You ask me specifically about this particular swimming. I say no, I have not personally any reason other than to applaud what has happened, until I have further facts, if so."
Ye backed up on Monday by qualifying fastest for the semis of the women's 200m individual medley in two minutes 08.90 seconds.
Rice was ninth fastest, four spots behind countrywoman Alicia Coutts.
Ye dismissed suggestions that there was an underhand reason for her remarkable success.
"There is no problem with doping," the 16-year-old said.
"The Chinese team has a firm policy so there is no problem with that."
After making an uncharacteristically slow start to the London Olympics, struggling superfish Michael Phelps has cruised into the 200m butterfly semi-finals.
Phelps, who won a record eight golds four years ago in Beijing to take his overall tally to 14, has been knocked off the top of the podium in his first two events.
He was a shock fourth in the 400m individual medley and then joined Ryan Lochte in an all-star 4x100m freestyle team which was sensationally swamped by underdogs France.
But there were no hiccups in the 200m butterfly, where he qualified fifth fastest for the semis on Sunday.
Austrian Dinko Jukic was the surprise fastest qualifier in 1:54.79, with young American Tyler Clary second and controversial Australian Nick D'Arcy 12th.
"I am pretty happy about this morning, that is all I need to be," said Phelps, the world record holder in the 200m butterfly, an event where he has been unbeaten in major competitions in 11 years.
Meanwhile Romanian shooter Alin George Moldoveanu won the first of the 12 gold medals on offer on Monday, claiming the men's 10m air rifle title.
Moldoveanu equalled the Olympic record of 599 points in qualifying and then won the final with a total of 702.1 points.
The victory made up for missing out on a medal in the same event in the Beijing Games by two millimetres.
Top-ranked Niccolo Campriani of Italy was second Gagan Narang from Italy claimed the bronze.
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