Ye forced to answer doping questions
Swimming:Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen set herself up for a golden double when breaking the Olympic 200m individual medley record in tonight’s semi-finals as the 16-year-old’s eye-popping performances continue to arouse suspicions. Ye already shattered the world record to win the 400 medley on Saturday.
“There's absolutely no problem with the doping,” she said this morning, speaking through a translator after setting the fastest time in the heats. “The Chinese team has always had a firm policy about anti-doping.”
And the IOC’s medical chief insists he has no reason to have suspicions over Ye. China’s appalling past record for their swimmers failing doping tests has led to suspicions over Ye, who took five seconds off her personal best in the 400m individual medley.
The swim was described as “insanely fast” by previous world record holder Stephanie Rice
indeed in the final 50m Ye swam faster than the men’s champion Ryan Lochte. But IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist, a veteran anti-doping competitor, did not express any concerns when asked if he had any suspicions regarding the swimmers in London.
Ljungqvist said: “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. 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.”
Rice, from Australia, would not be drawn on whether she thought Ye was legitimate. She said: “I have no idea, I mean I wouldn’t want to get into that at all, but a 58 is an insanely fast swim, but I know she’s a good freestyle swimmer.
“I swam next to her at worlds in the 200 IM 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 in freestyle.”
In the pool tonight, Ruta Meilutyte won Lithuanian’s first ever Olympic swimming medal by claiming the gold medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:05.47.
The 15-year-old who is based in Plymouth held off the challenge of favourite Rebecca Soni who took silver. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki finished in third place.
Frenchman Yannick Agnel added the men’s 200m freestyle gold medal to the 4x100 relay gold he won last night. Agnel finished in a time of 1:43.14 ahead of South Korea’s Taehwan Park and Yang Sun who finished in joint second, 1.79 seconds behind Agnel. Ryan Lochte finished outside the medals in fourth.
Missy Franklin won the women’s 100m backstroke final in a time of 58.33 just 20 minutes after qualifying for the 200m women’s freestyle final. It is the first Olympic medal that the promising 17-year-old American has won. Australia’s Emily Seebohm began strongly but was overtaken by Franklin in the last 50m and had to settle for silver. Japan’s Aya Terakawa finished in third.
Michael Phelps is through to another
Olympic 200m butterfly final but victory appeared laboured in the second semi-final as Phelps posted a relatively slow time of 1:54.53. In the first semi-final Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda posted a quicker time of 1:54.25.
It was an American one-two in the 100m backstroke final as Matthew Grevers broke the Olympic record to take the gold medal in a time of 52.16. Nick Thoman finished 0.76 behind his compatriot to take silver while Japan’s Ryosuke Irie secured the bronze medal.