BEATING MEN AT THEIR OWN GAME?
“Why can’t a woman… be more like a man?” sang Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.
But he probably wasn’t talking about in the pool at the Olympics.
The extraordinary feats of 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen have the world talking.
Here’s how the UK’s Daily Mail reported it:
“Swimming sensation Ye Shiwen smashed another Olympic record in winning a second gold last night – as more than 1.5 million Twitter users in China attacked ‘smears’ linking her to drugs.
“The diplomatic storm surrounding the 16-year-old dubbed the ‘Mandarin Mermaid’ did little to harm her performance as she swam to victory in the 200m individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in a time of 2.07.05.”
But it is Ye’s performance in the 400m individual medley on Saturday night – in which she managed the last 50m of the freestyle leg in 28.93 seconds – compared with the 29.1 seconds 27-year-old Ryan Lochte clocked in the men’s event minutes earlier, that really has eyebrows raised.
She also swam faster than Michel Phelps who was in the same medley race.
“Faster that Phleps.” “Astonishing”. “Unbelievable.” “World Swimming in Shock”.
That’s how the headlines read.
It is the first time in Olympic history a woman has swum faster in any lap than a male gold medallist.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Lochte said on Sunday.
“She’s fast. If she was there with me, she might have beat me.”
Her dramatic performances have been damned by a senior US coach as “unbelievable” and “disturbing”.
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