China’s Ye Shiwen Makes History, 400 IM Analysis

  225 Davis Wuolle | July 28th, 2012 | Featured, International, London 2012 Olympics, News

Ye Shiwen (CHN) broke the first World Record of the 2012 London Olympics. At only 16 years of age, Shiwen blew past leader Elisabeth Beisel (USA) in the final 100 meters, posting a ridiculous freestyle split at 58.68 seconds. Shiwen posted a 4:28.43 to best Stephanie Rice‘s world mark of 4:29.45 set at the 2008 Games in Beijing, which was swum in a hi-tech suit.

SPLITS COMPARED

100 butterfly:  Rice 1:01.47,  Shiwen 1:02.19

100 backstroke: Rice 1:08.36, Shiwen 1:09.54

100 breaststroke: Rice 1:17.42, Shiwen 1:18.02

100 freestyle: Rice 1:02.2, Shiwen 58.68

Coming home in 58.68 looks more like a strong final 100 of a 200 meters freestyle, not a 400 IM. After Sun Yang’s 53.50 closer in the 400 meters freestyle, it’s clear  China’s training regiment is built on investing in a monstrous aerobic base.

Stephanie Rice’s Wortld Record from Beijing:

Comments

  1. Come on says:
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    steroids for sure. this is actually not possible..

    • Yoda says:
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      Oh look, the dirty commies just produced another Drago! And she can’t possibly be THAT good…right? I mean, nobody saw that Lochte slowed down significantly in his last 50m since he had a comfortable lead at the time; so who in their righteous-zionist-mind would think Ye can post a comparable time to that?

      Watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-CpD8t_5Rw), pathetic doubters, and look at how explosive she is with her free style; and she was only 14 at the time! Oh wait, one more thing: Michael Phelps dominated swimming in 2008, winning unprecedented 8 gold medals — NO MEN IN HISTORY HAS EVER ACCOMPLISHED THAT, SO LOGICALLY HE MUST BE DOPING AS WELL!

      [Update: Just received a phone call from Barry Bonds: He thinks he’s innocent! “All those HRs are legit ’cause we American make the rules!”]

    • Pancho says:
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      Sorry – but we’ve seen it all before.

      Ahh Yoda – I’d love to agree with you .. . I really would. History argues otherwise.

      In track and field Chinese women went from nowhere to the best in history in the distance running in 2 years. Then when the drug testing improved . . . they all “decided to retire” . . . their runners have never approached that level again

      In gymnastics they fielded a team of “women” with falsified birth certificates . . . when found out they threw the athletes under the bus.

      I would love to believe that they are swimming clean . . . but recent history history makes me seriously doubt it

      • Norman says:
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        Lance Armstrong, is he American? he must not dope because he is American and won so many medals. Guys, China afford to hire the best swimming coach in the world from Australia with 4 times salary and have SLOW annual economic growth of 8% this years after near 25 years of double digit growth so sometimes people need to understand that we are not always the best. We are the best but British was the powerhouse two century ago and don’t forgot Rome Empire.

        • Mike Ross says:
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          Norman, who in THIS discussion, is defending Lance Armstrong? I have not read a single post defending Lance, American or not.

          Bringing the money issue into this discussion only makes me mistrust Ye’s swim further. Money give incentive to cheat. And it also gives incentive to look the other way.

          • Landlubbers says:
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            YES, American overall is the most powerful and richest nation, so are you suggest you mistrust American furthest.

    • Julia says:
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      Actually, Rebecca Adlington has done a faster final 50m at the end of an 800m race (28.91 Shanghai 2011). So does that your comment mean she’s doped up too?

      • hax says:
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        Also, this is a guys compression not women but can still show super fast last 50, Zhang lin had a 25.99 split coming home on his 800 free, and paul biedermann split 24.xx coming home in the 400 free world record

    • Linda Barzini says:
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      Two big problems for Yi Shiwen. The first is that China was caught doping throughout the 90’s. In 1998, they were caught going into Australia with enough HGH for the entire team. The large number of female swimmers from China that were busted for doping was a national embarassment. Many of the administrators of this state sponsored “scientific training” regimen are still around. The suspicion hangs heavy, especially when the women significantly outperform the men. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the coaches gave her Epo without her knowing it. I would love to see her hematocrit result (ratio of rbc/serum). I would bet she is outside the 95% norm.

      The second problem is her blazing fast 58.68 in the last hundred. Wow, that is crazy fast. Allison Schmidt only split a 58.23 in the last hundred of her WINNING 200 M Free. If Yi S. was either using Epo or blood transfusions, the enhanced rbc count would factor in the last 100. She wouldn’t get tired like the other competitors. Also, swimming the last lap faster than the men’s champion is a lot suspicious.

      In my personal opinion, I sadly think Yi Shiwen was cheating. Show us her hematocrit and hemoglobin levels and end the debate.

  2. TX Swimmer says:
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    If WADA does not get a handle on this. Its gonna become like a FREAK SHOW!

  3. Philip Johnson says:
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    the athletes are simply ahead of the drug testers. in Shanghai there was not one positive drug test.

  4. Jg says:
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    Some of these guys do come to Aust but it is only for 3 months. Interestingly they start very fast but on return to China the times are somewhat subdued. Then a few months at home & whazoo .

    Yes they do an aerobic base training up to 7 hours a day. However I am not crediting any China athletes. When a very young sprinter tests positive for epo you know things ae cooking & it aint Ma’s turtle soup.

    • Mike Ross says:
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      Is “monstrous aerobic base” what the kids are calling EPO these days?

      Perhaps we can’t get effective testing but I think we can demonstrate the HIGHLY unlikely nature of this swim. Compare Ye’s final 100 with all of the men in the 400 M IM final. Compare her final 100 with Pellegrini’s final 100 in the 400 M free when she set the World Record in 2009.

      If she can finish like this, why is she not swimming the 400 M free? Why is she not on the 4×200 Freestyle relay?

      There is no way this was clean swim!

      • underwater says:
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        So your argument is “this is an incredible split, therefore she cheated.” Innocent until proven guilty my friend.

        • Mike Ross says:
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          “Innocent until proven guilty” is an excuse that is often thrown about in a way of invoking something from various legal systems to prevent an argument being made for suspecting cheating in athletics. This is not a court of law.

          I think the chance that this swim was unaided by some form of doping is highly unlikely. I think if you would analyze some times you would recognize the same thing.

          • Azami says:
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            That doesn’t detract from the validity of his statement. You are the accuser so you have to prove her guilt, as much as we’d love to take your word for it, that’s make a mockery of the legal system and be a bad example for civilized countries too.

          • underwater says:
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            “Analyze some times”? I think all of us SwimSwammers spend plenty of our lives analyzing times lol. If you think that it’s highly unlikely this swim was clean, then that’s your guess, and you’re entitled to guess. It’s your declaration “There is no way this was a clean swim!” that’s presumptuous and immature.

            Also, this message board actually IS a court of law, with the Honorable Judge Braden Keith presiding! 😛

      • kurutoga says:
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        Ye’s final 100m is will be #5th among men 400IM’s last 100m. This is really apples to oranges comparison. Ye’s history since the age of 14 showed she is a freestyle specialist among IM swimmers. This does not necessarily mean she is a good 400m freestyle swimmer.

        • Michael says:
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          Finally a sensible post, Kurutoga.

          Guess what! Somebody is going to go 17 seconds in the 50yd free one day…get ready for it.

          Old American swimming principles are being broken left and right by the Chinese…(don’t sammy-save-up, don’t double breathe in freestyle, don’t ever triple breathe in freestyle, don’t breathe every stroke in fly, don’t breathe right before or right after your turn, always do a breaststroke pull-out) …in favor of logically and scientifically sound alternatives, and the swimming dinosaurs are roaring about it.

          Take Sun Yang, he only takes 27 strokes per 50 meter in his mile. If he breathes to one side only, he will only get 26 breaths per minute, therefore he had to find more places to breathe.

          This girl has known her best stroke is freestyle, so she has found ways to relax and still be in position by the free. She breathed every stroke in the fly. Even beisel skipped out on breaths. She came right up off the turn up into backstroke–practically no underwater dolphin kicks. She skipped the 1st breaststroke pullout to adjust to the knew rhythm of breathing.

          (Sidenote:It would be very interesting to count and compare the number, or rate of breaths athletes take in aerobic swimming events.)

          If she was doping, that’s very sad. If she wasn’t, well…I hope you were taking notes!

    • swimmer 2 says:
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      Agreed. They disappear in the shadows of the “Bamboo curtain” for a few months, before emerging again on a whole different level. Just not the same level of strict testing 52 weeks a year over there.

      I sort of felt the same way about Pererra (spelling?) from Brazil when he broke out a few years ago. Knowing Brazil’s history… wouldn’t surprise me.

  5. swimmer says:
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    I want to think she did this cleanly but I can’t

    • Swimmer123 says:
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      what about Missy Franklin ? she’s 17 years old and swam amazing. So is she using drugs too ?

      • jmathew4 says:
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        no but she also didnt improve 7 seconds from last years world championshp where she finished 5th…. not sayin she doped but it needs to be tested every year for the 8 years they have it, incase china’s mad scientists have some new stuff

  6. SoCalSun says:
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    The Chinese girl actually out split Lochte on the last 50 by 3 tenths in the same event! There is no universe in which a 16 year old girl can do that clean.

    Congrats to Elizabeth Beisel. Recognized or not, you are the true Olympic champion.

  7. TX Swimmer says:
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    Lost in all this Ye madness is the bronze medal winner. Where did she come from?!?

    • underwater says:
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      Li Xuanxu has been around for a while! She was an Olympian in 2008. Here are her world rankings in 400 IM for the past five years:

      2008 – 9th
      2009 – 2nd
      2010 – 4th
      2011 – 2nd

      So she definitely did not come out of nowhere.

  8. ZYNG43 says:
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    Seriously what the hell was that. I just dont see how that was possible. Something is up here

  9. Kelvin says:
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    I’ll believe it…

    When China produces a sub 4:00 male 400m IMer who closes the last 100m in 54

  10. underwater says:
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    The amount of skepticism on here is unbelievable. Anyone who watched the 200 IM at last year’s World Champs would have expected Ye to storm home. Freestyle is by far her strongest stroke. Perhaps some of you are familiar with the term “innocent until proven guilty”? Unless you have credible information that someone cheated, you’re just being a jealous hater. A few weeks ago Camille Muffat of France split a 1:58 on the last 200 of a 400 free. Where were the cries of cheating then? I’d like to give you guys the benefit of the doubt, but I fear a lot of these comments, consciously or not, are motivated by racism.

    • joeb says:
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      agreed! if an american did this, we wouldn’t blink an eye. she won worlds in the 2im and no one said anything then. kukors went 2:06 and no one accused her….that was out of the blue

      • Philip Johnson says:
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        lol at the Kukors analogy. She was clearly a suit swimmer like Biedermann, Walters, Cielo.

        • Rafael says:
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          Cielo with 21.38 and 47.84 is a Suit Swimmer:??

          • DDias says:
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            Rafael,
            i know Cielo feels like one.He dont like the difference around 0.4 and 0.9 between his times and his WRs.He wants to drop the difference(How Much?I dont know…).He hates the term SUIT SWIMMER.

          • Swimmer says:
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            Let’s not forget that Cielo has a positive test to his name.

    • Philip Johnson says:
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      yeah, why are many people so skeptical at the Chinese? it’s not like they had state sponsored doping in their past. it’s not like their women’s team was caught red handed. it’s not they just had a chief doctor that admitted to it. i agree, racists & jealousy.

      • Rafael says:
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        Johnson.

        May I recall US track and field Doping that EVERYONE knew but was never proved so?

        • Philip Johnson says:
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          no country is perfect, i am not denying there are dopers in the US. i’m just saying the skepticism isn’t unwarranted given their past.

        • Philip Johnson says:
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          no country is perfect, i am not denying there are not dopers in the US. i’m just saying the skepticism isn’t unwarranted given their past.

        • Swimmer says:
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          Even the USA media referred to the 2008 Olympics for track and field (where the USA was awful) as the post BALCO era.

          The USA has stepped up its drug testing to try to end that but the rest of the work hasn’t caught up.

        • Jean Marie says:
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          Why do people constantly compare track & field with swimming? It’s a completely different sport with an entirely different culture. There has NEVER been in US swimming anything close to what has happened in T & F. Yes, there have been some isolated cases of attempted cheating, but to constantly bring up the comparison is ridicules.

          • puppets says:
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            More to the point: why do so many people argue that one person or group doping somehow justifies another person or group doing so? It’s an odd moral stance to say the least but it’s one you find repeated over and over again in these forums.

      • underwater says:
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        Actually that was a poor word choice on my part, I shouldn’t have even used the word skepticism. People here aren’t being skeptical; skepticism implies a degree of uncertainty. Posters on this article are acting like they KNOW that Ye cheated. If people were merely being skeptical, I never would have said anything. It’s comments like “there’s no way this swim was clean” that I strongly disagree with. Believe me, if a Chinese swim coach gets caught at the airport with a suitcase full of hgh, I will not be arguing that they are clean! I have no idea whether Ye took PEDs. What I do know is that she hasn’t tested positive yet.

    • Jean Marie says:
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      Ah yes — the race card — don’t leave home without it. It’s so tiring and overused. How about answering the question. How is it possible for a 16 year old girl to out swim a 27 year old man? Let’s use logic and not emotion. Unless your own “racism” is blinding you.

      • underwater says:
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        What swim meet were you watching? In the one I just watched, Lochte beat Ye by 23 SECONDS. 23 SECONDS!!!! In a 400 IM! How does beating someone by 23 seconds count as being outswam?

        Also, LOLZ at “let’s use logic and not emotion” comment. Your entire argument is based off an emotional reaction to her last 100 split as well as your emotional need for certainty. I am NOT saying that I am 100% certain that Ye did not cheat. What I am saying is that currently there is no proof of this. If you are guided by logic and not emotion, you realize that at this point there is no way to know whether or not she cheated with 100% certainty.

        • Jean Marie says:
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          Ye Shiwen (CHN) 58.68
          Beisel (USA) 102.33
          Xuanxu (CHN) 101.58
          Hosszu (HUN) 102.66
          Hannah (GBR) 102.97
          Rice (AUS) 103.98
          Leverenz (USA) 104.45
          Garcia (ESP) 102.91

          Men
          Lochte (USA) 58.65
          Pereira (BRA) 59.70
          Hagino (JPN) 58.20
          Phelps (USA) 58.32
          Le Clos (RSA) 59.15
          Horihata (JPN) 57.58
          Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 58.13
          Marin (ITA) 100.12 (59.22p)

          Now explain to me as that final leg was possible?

          • Jean Marie says:
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            Typo — Now explain to me how that final leg was possible?

          • underwater says:
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            Explain to me how it’s impossible! It’s possible because it JUST HAPPENED. If you want to play the split game, we have to look at ALL the splits. So let’s look at everyone’s split through the first 300 meters.

            Lochte – 3:06.53
            Ye – 3:29.75
            In the men’s race, Horihata was last at the 300, and even he split 3:15.72

            Now we have a little context for those last 100 splits.

            Just think about it from a swimmers perspective. Imagine you’re tapered and shaved. After a meet warm up and a short break your coach asks you to swim a 400: 300 easy, 100 all out. If you coasted the first 300, your last 100 would be very fast. In fact it might not be that far off your personal best in the 100. Now clearly Ye didn’t swim the first 300 “easy”, but she was holding back a lot more than people realize. That’s what makes this incredible split possible.

            Sadly though, you completely missed the point I was trying to make in the last post. I don’t KNOW that Ye is clean, there’s just currently no proof that she’s not clean. A very fast last 100 is not proof of cheating, it’s proof of some serious negative splitting.

        • Mike Ross says:
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          Fair point.

          I am not saying I am 100% certain that Ye cheated. I am 95% sure. If the weather predicts a 95% chance of rain; I bring an umbrella!

          • David Berkoff says:
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            I agree with Mike. Five reasons: 2 historical and 3 temporal.

            1. China has had 40 (yes 40!) doping violations in swimming since 1994 when they were caught red-handed at the Asian Games. That’s four times more than the next closest country.

            2. China, like East Germany, is a closed society with none of the democratic checks and balances we have in free society (albeit I’d rather be Chinese in 2012 than East German in 1980). Part of helping ensure clean sports is transparency and openness.

            3. Ye Shiwen’s “former” teammate was just busted for EPO. EPO and similar substances increase endurance and assist in training recovery.

            4. None of the three top women in the 400 free came home better than 1:00.3. That’s 1.8 seconds or nearly 3% slower than Shiwen’s last hundred. Take into account the fact that Adlington, Schmidt and Muffat all started their last 100 from a flip turn while Shiwen started from a hand touch and we’re talking 2.5 seconds and 4%. I just don’t see how she was 4% faster than the best female middle distance freestylers in the world in this race. Unless she totally bagged the first 300 (which begs the question of how would she do that?) a 58.6 seems, well, sort of impossible.

            5. If that last statistic doesn’t convince you that something is VERY FISHY, the average last 100 meters for the men’s 400 IM was 58.73. That means Shiwen was FASTER than the average of the top 8 men in the world.

            I’m suspicious.

            D

          • Landlubbers says:
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            TO DAVID BERKOFF

            3. Ye Shiwen’s “former” teammate was just busted for EPO. EPO and similar substances increase endurance and assist in training recovery.
            ——–
            You mean Li Zhesi? She was busted for EPO by China, just like
            Phelps bust for doping for 3 months in 2009 by U.S.. And the difference is that Li Zhesi will probably banned for lifelong. Which on the opposite shows China’s determination on anti-doping.

            And 5?
            ——
            I begin to realize that it’s about IQ rather than truth. The truth is she’s 23 slower than Lochte and 18 slower than men’s average. It’s just energy distribution and strategy. If she spend more energy in first 300m and she would be slower in last 100m, perhaps she also can win and that will seem more POSSIBLE. But her strategy is to reserve more energy for the last 100m, and she successfully break WR.
            An old essay says that once upon a time, a man gave 7 peaches a day to a monkey, 4 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, and the monkey was happy. But one day, he gave the monkey 3 peaches in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, which made the monkey so angry that it attacks the man.
            Hopefully you might be clever than the monkey.

          • Brian says:
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            Landlubbers, you misconstrued the facts.

            Phelps wasn’t busted for doping, he was busted for smoking pot. Big difference.

      • puppets says:
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        “DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.” The Human Genome Project.

        There! That puts the race card back in the deck.

        This debate has a cultural and certainly a political dimension, but it is not about race. It’s about cheating in sport.

    • blee says:
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      I think there are 2 primary differences between Ye Shiwen and Camille Muffat.

      1) Camille has been racing regularly and consistently this whole season. It was clear that when she came home in 1:58, she was experimenting with different racing strategies and intentionally took out the first 200 very slowly.

      2) Li Zhesi – the 16-year-old who tested positive for EPO in March 2012. These teenagers are NOT taking EPO on their own. They are not like Marion Jones, who had the money, the connections and the experience in professional sports to proactively and individually start a sophisticated doping regimen. Li Zhesi is a 16-year-old from Liaoning, a poor province that borders North Korea and is known for its mining towns. I can almost guarantee you that she did not Google “EPO,” steal money from her parents’ wallet, and purchase a stash of EPO at the corner pharmacy. There was somebody with a lot of money, power and knowledge who gave her the EPO. I guess it’s hard not to ask.. was Li Zhesi the only teenager receiving EPO?

      • underwater says:
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        Two points:

        -You say Muffat took the race out slowly… Ye did the exact same thing. It’s just less obvious because we aren’t familiar with her best times in the first three strokes.

        -Just because Li Zhesi cheated does not mean Ye Shiwen cheated. It’s also ridiculous that you pretend to know how much money Li Zhesi has based off what province she lives in. Liaoning has over 43 million people! Are you saying wealthy people aren’t allowed to live there?

      • kurutoga says:
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        Li Zhesi was caught by chinese anti doping agencies. If they give her the drug why would they catch her?

      • microbe100 says:
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        Mining towns? I think you might have meant Shanxi, the coal mines of China.

      • Gary says:
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        You know nothing about China. Bordering North Korea doesn’t mean Liaoning is poor, South Korea also borders North Korea.

        In fact Liaoning is one of the wealthiest provinces in China (as one of the coastal provinces).

      • Jcoach says:
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        Well that is easily the best comment yet on the situation. When you think of it like that, how can anyone at least have serious doubt?

  11. blee says:
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    Let’s not get racist here.

    But this is an oddly swift swim. She is 5’8″, 140 lbs, and 16 years old. How is she doing the same splits as Ryan Lochte, who is male, 6’2″, 185 lbs and 27 years old? This swim is also 7 seconds faster than she was at 2011 Worlds (she finished 5th). Does that imply we’ll see a 2:05 in the 200 IM (3.5 seconds faster than her World Champ-winning swim)??

    • Landlubbers says:
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      You forgot to mention 6th placed Men 400IM HORIHATA Yuya, he’s 5’7″(1.69m) and 137 lbs, and his last 50 is 27.87, much faster than Lochte 29.10. Was HORIHATA doping too??
      Ye’s 15 in 2011, given her age and few experience in world competetion, her performance would be unstable. Saying that 2011 Worlds (she finished 5th) is her PB in 2011 is unfair and rash. She had already won in 2011 Asian by 4.33.79.
      And if one drop PB in 400IM by n seconds, does that necessary means one should drop PB in 200IM by n/2? I guess you are kidding, ain’t you.

  12. Come on says:
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    Kukors had four solid splits, not one random impossible one. And Muffat coming home in 1:58 she went out super slow and came back its not like she went 1:58 1:58. Your analogies make no sense. And innocent until proven guilty.. i’m sorry 58… like no

    • underwater says:
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      How do you know Ye didn’t go out slow? You have no idea what she’s actually capable of in butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke. Also, the textile WR for the women’s 100 free is 52.75, and it may be taken lower this week, so a 58.6 is clearly not impossible… it’s six whole seconds slower. Lastly, 58.6 doesn’t prove anything, positive drug tests or subsequent admissions do. So as you so aptly put it… like no.

      • MarkB says:
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        By your logic, the best male swimmer in the world should then have come home in a 53.0 in his 400 IM since that is 6 whole seconds slower than the 100 Free record.

        • underwater says:
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          LOL! That DID essentially happen dude. Sun Yang just split a 53.5 coming home. That’s right in the same range.

          Also, why would the best male and best female in any particular event have to have a similar race strategy? And in the case of the IM events, why would they have to be strong in the exact same strokes?

          • Come on says:
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            Are you actually stupid though, 400 free and 400 IM are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I could maybe see a girl coming home in 58.6 in 400 free, I mean the world record is 3:58, but no girl comes home in 58.6 in 400 IM, barely any guy comes home in 58.6 in 400 IM

  13. Come on says:
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    Also, at worlds she came home in in 29.42 and the was in 200 IM. 400 IM is like a million times more demanding and she went under that time on both 50’s, 29.4 for is impressive. 58.6 is almost for sure tainted

  14. Billy says:
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    Here come the Chinese doping accusations. I have no idea if they are using or not. All I wanted is a drug free competition.

    Yi Shewin is very talented. World champ at 14 with a monster freestyle leg.

    The Chinese have 1.3 billion people, state supported athletic programs and I imagine their coaches are very knowledgeable and tough taskmasters.

    Who Knows?

  15. Kirt says:
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    I am skeptical; I want to think she’s clean, but I’m not sure. I will say, however, that in the first three strokes Ye hardly moved her legs. All her strokes are super efficient and it looked like she exerted VERY little energy.

    • underwater says:
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      Very true, good observation

    • hmm...... says:
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      You can’t exert very little energy and stay with the pack of Olympians who are exerting a lot of energy. That just doesn’t make sense

      • underwater says:
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        “Very little energy” is hyperbole. She wasn’t swimming it like a warm up, but she clearly had a lot more left in the tank than everybody else. Other great distance swimmers like Ian Thorpe or Sun Yang often hang with the pack before breaking away.

        • hmm...... says:
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          Oh, and i guess his saying that “Ye hardly moved her legs” is hyperbole, too.

          I think her swim was too surreal for most people, especially swimmers, to grasp. Following a very demanding 300 medley, during which she stayed quite competitive, she was still able to somehow find the energy to dart out to achieve a split time that is only 2 seconds slower than her stand alone 100 meter free personal best of 55.44.

          Re ian thorpe, from what I remember, from the very beginning of his races, he always stayed ahead of his heat and gradually pulled away from the pack more and more each lap. His style of pacing was completely different from Ye’s.

          • underwater says:
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            Yes it clearly is hyperbole… do you know what that word means? Also, if her best is 55.44 and she split that’s 58.68, that’s 3 seconds not 2 (nice math there), BUT the real issue is that the 55.44 is not from this meet. Her true best is probably a 54, maybe even 53. I completely agree with all the people who are wondering why she is not entered in more events. However, if you look at the rest of the Chinese Olympic team, you’ll see a similar pattern of not entering in as many events as they possibly could. Braden Keith wrote an article about this several weeks back. For example, Wang Shun is only swimming the 200 IM, when he could be swimming the 200 free, 1500 free, and 400 IM as well. In the women’s breaststrokes, their top two swimmers in the 100 and 200 are only swimming the 200. Clearly the Chinese coaches are wary of overextending their swimmers. I personally disagree with this strategy, but that’s why Ye isn’t swimming the freestyles. If they leave her off their 4×200 it will be a terrible decision.

            Also, you can’t compare the relative pacing to Ian Thorpe. He mostly swam freestyle, while this was an IM. When Beisel falls behind on the first 100 and then comes back on the second 100, that’s not indicative of her pacing, it’s indicative of the fact that fly is her worst stroke and back is her best.

          • morrow3 says:
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            replying to Underwater below – couple points
            If you look again at the 400 IM you will see that Ye powers her kicks – they are just below the surface. Especially the fly. I too reject the argument that she was easing her first 300 and was 1 second behind the reigning World Champion – how is it probable? Just “seeing is believing” isn’t a great argument to the improbable when history causes us to be skeptical.

            In a country of 1 billion (a common argument) they can find a girl who can come home in 58 at the end of a 400 IM, yet their fastest 400 free styler was 4:08 and top 200 free 1:58 – seems suspicious to me.

            I would love to be able to sit back and watch in awe, but anyone who distances themselves from a world class field is subjected to scrutiny. It happened to Inge De Bruijn, Michelle Smith, Flojo, the Greek Sprinters, and often they do turn out to fail a drug test and tarnish the event. Sometimes they are caught and sometimes they are clean.

            Someone will eventually go a 17 in the 50 yd free, but it will happen over time. Not all at once. Times will get closer and closer until it is eventually done. A woman splitting faster than a man has happened, all at once. We can argue that Lochte went out too hard and could have swum the race better, or that Ye conserved breaths by not doing underwaters, but we are humans and we have been burned before. It’s good to be skeptical.

          • Tony says:
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            Ye’s personal best is definitely faster than 55.44 She swam 53.66 when she was 14 years old.

  16. REAL says:
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    Did anyone notice she didn’t even use a breaststroke pullout on both turns?? She beats Lochte in the last 50 without dolphin kicking?? He did 6 kicks off the ast wall. Her only mistake was making it too obvious. Shouldv’e just touched out Beisel and no one would’ve known. 3 months of training with Dennis Cotterell doesn’t make you that fast. China are so far ahead of the doping game it’s not funny.

  17. StuartC says:
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    As I said in the “Lochte tops 400IM” blog.

    Sydney Morning Herald had this story today in which they argue that doping in the 1990s originated at the highest levels in China — so China doesn’t have a very good track record – 23 swimmers were given life time bans in the 1990s and doping was rampant in Chinese swimming and in other sports. Coaches to upper level administrators working hand in hand with top scientists were all involved. Has that philosophy changed? I hope so!!, but I doubt it!!

    http://media.smh.com.au/news/world-news/chinese-swimmers-were-previously-doping-3496533.html?from=newsbox

    I hope she is clean, but that 100 split is basically faster than all of the fastest 400IM male swimmers of all time. If she can do a 58.68 after a grueling 300 then does that mean she can go a 3:50 or a 3:55 in the 400 free? I am curious how fast she went in the Chinese olympic trials in the 400IM? Anyone have this time? Where was she ranked in the world before today?

    Time will tell if her swim was legitimate as masking of various drugs has been taken to a new level – blood from all the top athletes will now be stored for at least 8 years and will be retested as technology of testing improves – this applies to all athletes – China, USA, British etc., so someone can still be disqualified 5 years later if new technology discovers a hidden drug or a masking agent — it was just posted by Olympic officials that 5 new athletes will lose medals from 2008 Olympics — this will be announced after 2012 Olympics before statute of limitations runs out!

    Masking agents have been taken to a new level and there are very few countries that can afford the technology (USA, Japan, China, Britain, Australia, Germany)

    Again time will tell but comments made on this blog and at collegeswimming.com show that people everywhere are watching. When you have one of the fastest male swimmers ever having the same split as a young women after a grueling race, then people should rightfully be suspicious (it’s never happened in the history of swimming before!!, in ANY event). Again if it is legitimate swim then it should go down as the best swim ever — even in the tech suit era, the girls couldn’t break a minute in the last leg of 400IM!! hope that it is a legitimate swim, for all of swimming sake! BUT I have my doubts!!

  18. REAL says:
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    Ye was a 4.35.17 at Chinese Trials, touched out by Li in 4.34.92. A fair improvement for the both of them. Ye did swim a 4.33 last year but only a 4.35.1 in the Worlds final. I would love to be able to have more access to Chinese swimming results, they seem to be a huge mystery to the rest of the world.

  19. lionheartyoung says:
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    Interesting comments and interesting graphical design of this article.
    It has to be like that. A dirty Chinese national flag, a subtle hint of a “dirty” record. You don’t even have to say it. A picture does its job.
    Americans are so uncomfortable when seeing Chinese success. So miserable.

    • 0
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      I think the Chinese flag was because of our lack of photos of Ye Shiwen…

      • Brian says:
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        Agreed with Davis.

        I think what’s uncomfortable, and I think I speak for many, is that USA Swimming has, for any of its faults, a proven and very legitimate drug testing system in place for its athletes (i.e. testing at all national meets, etc., random drug testing that is mandatory to be present for at all times, etc).

        China has a fantastic women’s team, but no men’s team (or next to none). And they go back into hiding after every Olympic Year. It’s very suspicious.

        It’s not judging them based on race or anything of the sort.

        I liked watching the Japanese swim, Kosuke Kitajima, Kosuke Hagino, their women’s team in the relay today, etc. Park in all his events is sublime.

        All of them, however, are present at international meets and also at meets in the US. China stays in the dark, so we can only take them at their word that they aren’t doping.

        I believe Schubert was highly skeptical of them in Beijing, if I remember right.

        • Sans Pallegrini says:
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          “China has a fantastic women’s team, but no men’s team (or next to none). And they go back into hiding after every Olympic Year. It’s very suspicious.”

          If you look at Ye Shiwe’s competitive history, she was the silver medallists in the 200 and 400 IM at the 2010 World Short Course Champ in Dubai. Gold Medallists in both events at the Asian Games in that same year and of course, last year’s Worlds (both events were in China). But of course, we won’t know what she’ll do after London but here’s an example:

          The Chinese 200 fly winner from Beijing went on to finish 2nd in Rome in 2009 and third in Shanghai. Her compatriot, the silver medalist in Beijing, finished 5th in Rome and won the race in Shanghai. And guess what? Both will be swimming the same race in London.

          • Brian says:
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            I mean, she’s been around, but your post is all about females…

            No men?

          • Gary says:
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            “China has a fantastic women’s team, but no men’s team (or next to none). And they go back into hiding after every Olympic Year. It’s very suspicious.”

            Your accusations are highly ridiculous, both Zhang Lin and Sun Yang improved between Beijing 2008 and Rome 2009:

            Zhang Lin:

            2008 Summer Olympics – 2nd (Silver Medalist) 400m freestyle;
            2009 World Aquatics Championships – 3rd (Bronze Medalist) 400m freestyle; 3:41,35
            2009 World Aquatics Championships – 1st (Gold Medalist) 800m freestyle; World Record 7:32,12

            Sun Yang:

            2008 Olympics – 28th 400m free, 8th 1500m free
            2009 World Championships – 3rd 1500m free
            2010 Asian Games – 1st 1500m free (Asian Record)
            2011 World Aquatics Championships – 1st 1500m free (World Record), 1st 800m free, 2nd 400m free
            2012 Summer Olympics – 1st 400m free (Olympic Record)

            Unfortunately Zhang Lin has lost his competitiveness due to asthma.

          • Gary says:
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            And the Chinese swimming team got better and better results in every olympics and world championships between 2008 and now.

            Beijing 2008: 1 gold, 6 medals
            Rome 2009: 4 gold, 10 medals (1 gold, 3 medals from men)
            Shanghai 2011: 5 gold, 14 medals (2 gold, 5 medals from men)

        • arrogantprick says:
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          I think many South Koreans would be irate to find out people think Park Tae-hwan is Japanese.

          • Brian says:
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            Excuse me, I forgot to throw in South Korean in there. I only threw in Park as another example of an Asian swimmer who I highly respect and think is top notch, to throw that silly “racist” idea out the window.

    • Coach says:
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      Not at all. I think Americans are whole-heartely impressed and respect Sun Yang. The fact that Ye is on par with adult males is what is disturbing. Looking at the women’s relay, no one has said anything about a sub 52 split and performance enhancing drugs because a sub-52 is nowhere near the caliber of what the all time greatest male athletes are doing, and that was a heck of a relay split.

      • Arthur says:
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        Lochte died in his 400IM. He said himself he went too fast. Compare all 8 splits and it is clear she is no where near the ability of top males.

        • arrogantprick says:
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          People just believe what they want to believe. Don’t bother with things like facts, logic, data, etc.

  20. REAL says:
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    Ye says “at the 200 I thought the race was lost”, she was sitting 3rd only 0.6 behind the leader Hosszu. If I knew I had a sub-minute back end in me I would still be pretty confident. Surely her training would indicate she could do that?
    http://www.swimnews.com/News/view/9628

    • aswimfan says:
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      I found that comment odd as well.
      I am reserving my judgment, and for the time being enjoy it as a truly magnificent swim.

      • underwater says:
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        Exactly.

      • DDias says:
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        Me too.I will be waiting for a pro/doctorate biomechanic(the guy from swimscience?) make an avaliation about her event.

        And lets face it: her strokes are smoothly and her body is not too muscular(like we saw in prior times).But i am really curious about her growth.

    • Mike Ross says:
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      I found this quote to be funny: “It’s true for breaststroke I am lagging behind but I think my freestyle result is also not that good. Usually I’m very bad at turning. This is one of my worst basic skills but turning is a very important skill therefore I was practicing my turns before the competition.”

      Freestyle result, not good?!

      She seems to be arguing that by working on her turns, she was able to finish among the best men. I’m taking notes…

  21. Wahooswimfan says:
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    Given China’s past history of doping violations (and if I recall, they also hired one of the architechs of the East German doping program a few years back), suspicion is fair – but it will be interesting to see if anything comes up in doping testing. Until then, I tend to think it was a legit swim.

    What China really needs to do is open up their swim programs to international exposure – most US, European, Australian program have, as students or otherwise, a fairly high level of visiting comeptitors and training swimmers form other nations, so it would be hard to hide a systematic doping program. China, on the otherhand, is more closed to the rest of the world, which, fairly or not creates suspicion. They also have a high number of swimmers come from nowhere to stardom in a very short time span, whereas most US, Canadian, European swimmers are spotted as talented age-groupers and we watch them develop, so the breakthru international swim usually does not come as a big surprise.

    But I do look forward to swwing if the doping test turns up anything.

    • Sans Pallegrini says:
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      Most of us who aren’t Americans, would not have heard of Missy Franklin before last year (and the most astute, in Dubai in 2010). And I’m just north of the border. And the same can be said of phenom like Sjostrom- unless you’re Swedish or follow the European circuit, her 2009 win was a complete surprise.

      That’s not to say I’m in disagreement. As an example, do we know China’s role when it comes to WADA? What I’m seeing is a fair but still a knee-jerk reaction from commenters using the same allegations as before. Yet it would be nice to see something factual (apart from the split comparison)- eg. the numbers of recent doping cases in China vs. the rest of the World (i.e. one cheat does not make a nation of cheaters). And perhaps some argument to support whatever steps Chinese officials might have taken recently to eliminate doping and rectify public opinion.

      And Mr. Woulle- even before London if you image googled Ye Shiwe, you’d find one from last year Worlds. My guess is as a legitimate website you can’t simply hot-linked a photo :)

  22. baroclinicity says:
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    I like to be an optimist and give people the benefit of the doubt, but this last 100 meters was so statistically aberrant that it beggars description. In fact, it is a quantum leap of sorts. Nobody trounces the field in an Olympic final by at a good 4 seconds in a 100 split, even a specialist. Not even Phelps in Beijing, at the height of his powers and possessed of both massive aerobic capacity and a 47.5 100 free, could drop the second fastest swimmer in the field by 4 seconds over the last 100 of the 400IM. Nor could Thorpe at his height in the 400 free, and he was famous for his finishing speed. And of course let’s not forget that she matched the pace of the best men’s swimmer on the planet, and outsplit the silver medalist! Shiwen’s swim sticks out as an almost unfathomable break from any other swim in history. So, either she is clean and just swam the most statistically improbable swim of all time, or she is doping. Given China’s history, I lean towards the latter conclusion.

  23. swimdude says:
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    Guess, Sour grapes for the Americans again…Even if you go with the argument, lets check with the facts…PED works on the muscle, a 16 yr old would have low body mass index than a 22 year old, her heart, lungs would be much smaller than a grown up….

    It would make much sense for the Chinese to dope a young adult of 22 yrs than a 16 year old teen, who would respond to PED much slower than young adults..She would loose with equal amounts of PED with an adult…besides, she is much smaller in size than an avg swimmer, a dope coach would have to be out of his mind to dope a 16 year old 5.6 feet than a 22 year old 6 feet swimmer..It does not make any sense at all…

    Chinese are very good at diving and they just got better at swimming as well, Americans are only good at swimming, they could never do best at diving like the Chinese….Don’t be a sore loser…get over it and enjoy …

  24. Jg says:
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    Very few womens events reach 90% of the men . Sometimes when there is a super swimmer of one sex against the usual top band the margin contracts but rarely under 10% . The girls are close on the 200 400 free 200 back

    The thing s in this swim Ye was nowhere near 90% of Lochte’s splits until she equaled his freestyle. This is purely endurance Aerobic based .. This final time puts her close to 91%. Very few female events in any sport reach this margin .

    Take any athletic event -eg mens 400 & 800 track . The only women to get to 905 are the DDRs Marita Koch ( a race I witnessed ) & Jarmilla Ktatchatilova . These ladies times have never been equalled.

    The 400 im is the most athletic of all the events .It has power technique range & endurance U/waters.

    This is like Sarena equalling Roger Federer in the 4th set at Wimbledon after losing all 3 sets.

  25. underwater says:
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    It’s worth noting that 24 years ago Janet Evans split a 1:00.45 on the last 100 of her 400 free. The women’s WR in the 100 at the time was a 54.73. Now in 2012, Ye splits a 58.68 to close a 400, while the TWR in the 100 is 52.75. That’s an improvement of about 2 seconds in both the 100 and the last 100 of a 400.

    • IR says:
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      But that’s on the back of a 400 free. 400 IM is a different animal.

    • Asiaswim says:
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      Fair comment. Anyone remember what Darnyi split on his last 100m in Seoul?

      Pelligrini did split 59 in her sub 4:00 swim but used a shiny suit.

      The 400IM is a bit of a strange comparison because of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the competitors. What is astounding also is Lochte is no freestyle slouch and will compete on the 200m! Also Ye should be a shoo-in for the women’s 200m and 400m? She should be 4:02ish at least???

  26. drdov says:
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    Are swimmers gender tested?
    My country went through hell concerning a certain track athlete, just wondering if other sports and other nations get scrutinised as well??

    • aswimfan says:
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      Your certain female track athlete was the flag-bearer but she wore the men’s version of the uniform.

      Did anyone notice this?

  27. Brian says:
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    Yeah. I mean personally, I don’t care that she wins and sets a world record. That’s great! I just don’t see any woman rivaling an Olympian such as Ryan Lochte’s split in the pool. And I say this without gender bias – There is a marked difference between men’s and women’s times.

    I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt – for now. I am VERY interested to know why it’s the women’s team that over performs, however, and the men’s team is never anywhere to be seen.

  28. F. Buytendijk says:
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    As an professional I have my doubts about her age. If she is sixteen this kind of performance is almost impossible. If she was an American I would have the same doubts

  29. Bullddoze says:
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    Juiced.. 58.6 is an unbelievable men’s split. No girls can split close to a male in any event. How can one not be suspect of this?

  30. Mike says:
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    Shewin does not do herself any favors with the following comments at the press conference, “I’m very lucky. Training is not hard for me… We have a very good scientific based training. That’s why we’re so good”.

    Over three seconds better than her heat time, which was the fastest time this year! Her freestyle leg was over 6 seconds better than Rice’s 100 when she set the IM record!!! And she’s in a slower suit!

    Her performance was both odd and obvious.

  31. WL says:
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    I believe she is clean. If she had been on drug the better strategy would be producing slight leads in each split rather than having a ridiculous closing split which would bring doubts as we have here.

  32. 400imer says:
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    Are any of you actually or have ever swum a 400 meter IM? It is worse than a 10 k open water or 1500m . You cannot compare this to free – just can’t.
    Also as a female, we don’t grow that fast like boys do at that age.
    Ps quit using race and blaming US for sour grapes – we aren’t all americans commenting.

    • underwater says:
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      I’ve swam the 400 IM and 1500 free… to say the 400 IM is harder is absurd. It’s only harder if you primarily train freestyle or if you have poor technique (the butterfly in particular can be exhausting without an efficient stroke). Think about it… at most meets the 1500 is a timed final, while the 400 IM has both prelims and semis.

  33. Ron says:
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    Lol, at all these accusations against her without any shred of evidence.

    Welcome to the Wensanity ladies and gentlemen, I, for one, hail our new teenager overlords

  34. JB says:
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    The level of racism on this thread is disheartening and disgusting.

    The patriotism monster thrives vigorously during the Olympics and these comments are a glimpse of how pathetic that unbridled devotion can be.

    • predicta57 says:
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      Read again….. it’s not racism. It’s an argument of plausiblity. Men are not as fast as women at similar levels of training and talent. It’s just a fact. Tell me….. has any woman in the pool ever beat the fastest man in the world at the end of a race?…… Answer: Not even close.

      Believe what you want. Drug testing continues to lag behind the druggies.

      • Predicta57 says:
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        Typo on the “Men” and “Women” comment above. Meant the opposite.

      • arrogantprick says:
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        “Tell me….. has any woman in the pool ever beat the fastest man in the world at the end of a race?…… Answer: Not even close.”

        Rebecca Adlington, 2011 World Championships – Last 50m of the 800m free style race: 28.91 sec – faster than most top men’s last 50 in the 400M IM and 800M freestyle.

        So, if by “not even close”, you mean “Rebecca Adlington in 2011”, then you are right on.

        Anyway, now armed with this new knowledge will lead the crusade against Rebecca Adlington’s obvious doping (by your logic)? No? Why not?

        Further data – The average last 50M in the London women’s 800M finals – 31.03, in the 400M IM – 30.67. If you take out Ye’s time (as according to many here, is “impossible”, and shouldn’t be counted – but more precisely, it’s an outlier and wouldn’t be considered as typical results) it’s 30.91. So, the final 50M in the 800M may be ~0.88 seconds slower that of the 400M IM’s final 50, making Adlington’s FAR less plausible.

        So why is Adlington’s performance completely unquestioned and Ye’s “impossible” and certain to be tainted? Anyone?

  35. Billy says:
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    I was eagerly waiting for the Olympics and especially the swimming. We watch a jaw dropping performance by Ye Shewin who has won on the world stage before and now everyone is talking about the possibility of drug use by the Chinese swimmer.

    Maybe Ms. Shewin is THAT TALENTED to swim that time without drugs. I hope that is the case.

    So, after one day of swimming, I am depressed already. All the fun is being taken out of the sport.

    It’s sickening.

  36. Taniap says:
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    If there is this much controversy surrounding Shewin’s times..then the Olympics should just test her again, if she hasn’t used anything than she will be found exonerated. And the UK Daily reported that Olympians would be allowed to bring into the country personal enhancement supplements as long as they, “are for personal use.” So who’s to say, an athelete may or may not be using some power protein drink which may not be known so that it can be tested for, is not a part of said Olympians nutrition regiment?? People want to claim racism but the United States has a very recent yet comprehensive history of punishing those caught using performance ehancers on any stage, national or international..I think if she has nothing to hide then a comprehensive re-test will be a small step to acknowledge her true athleticism..

  37. NMCoach says:
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    Here’s why I think that split by Ye is out of balance…anyone that studies splits of 400IMers can notice right away that a free split within 10 seconds of the 100 Free WR is unbelievably fast. Closest male was Horihata with a 57.58. Phelps at the top of his game came home in 56.79 in 2008 which was 9.8 over the WR in the 100 Free. I can’t find Dolan’s splits from his WR swims, but I bet it was right around 10 seconds over.

    For women, within 9 seconds of the 100 WR would be in the 1:01.0 range and would be similarly unbelievable. Xuanxu goes 101.58 and the rest are 102s-103s. 6 seconds over the Women’s 100 WR and within 3 sec of her personal best flat start 100? But if you aren’t familiar with the splits, then you make comments like…”just accept the fact that she has an awesome aerobic base, etc.”

    In 2008, Phelps had an unbelievable aerobic base! Gregg Troy’s program is geared towards aerobic fitness. So to say that she is just better prepared is ridiculous!

  38. 400imer says:
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    Remember Jessica Hardy sat out 2008 for clenbuterol and fabri molina brazil tested positive as well as one other brazilian. Do not remeber what the case was with fabri.

    Epo is easily attained. Veterinarians dispense it in small doses for pets usually ones in kidney failure to build up the blood cells.

  39. DR. EVIL says:
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    As of right now…110 comments…and NOT one of you…NOT one of you….have even broached the subject of using superior technique to go faster.

    You are all “horsepower” focused…traditional thinkers…so it’s easy to understand why most of you are so confused…!!

    DR.EVL….HAS SPOKEN!

    • Mike Ross says:
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      This is not an argument about horsepower. Technique is notably better at the beginning of a race, in a rested or well conditioned swimmer. We are arguing that Ye’s “conditioning” is aided because of her unusual and statistically significant ability to finish a race.

  40. arrogantprick says:
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    Does anyone know where I can get the video of this race? I don’t see it at nbcolympics.com (at least not yet) and cannot find it posted anywhere else. Will it be rebroadcast?

    • Braden Keith says:
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      If you’re in the US, it will be rebroadcast tonight in prime time. NBCOlympics is posting MOST but not ALL races.

      • arrogantprick says:
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        Great. Thanks.

      • arrogantprick says:
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        Looks like they were only only showing swimming from today. Will they eventually post the race online? Does anyone have another link? Maybe a non-US site that NBC doesn’t have their dirty paws on?

  41. Mike says:
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    The women’s 200 & 400 IM is littered with drug cheats. Swimmers who denied it at the time but years later admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs or have been found to have been on drugs.

    There is a familiar pattern and the arguments on both sides are the same.

    I’m going to call it now and everyone from having to wait 10 years to discover Shewin was on drugs. It’s obvious she was juiced!

  42. 0
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    I have been interested in the comments so far on the list. The issue is not new because we have seen this before if we look back on Olympic history.

    First, the concern over doping is not linked to race. The East Germans were using PEDs. Sharron Davies who lost by 10 seconds about Petra Schneider (400IM 1980 Olympics a record not bettered for 17 years. (drug based) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra_Schneider

    Second, upsets do occur at Olympics. See Seoul 1988 when Matt Biondi, the favourite, lost to a relative unknown Anthony Nesty. Biondi was gracious when beaten by .01 in 100m Butterfly. He said these things happen. Nesty had a great career before that Olympics and after it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Nesty

    Third, East German’s Men swimming never came as close to being as good as female swimming. The benefits of doping were, and are, greater for female athletes in certain sports such as swimming. Look at the 1976 Olympics. East German Women took gold in *everything* except the 4×100 despite winning no golds and only 5 medals in 1972. The East German men won a bronze in 100m backstroke. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_at_the_1976_Summer_Olympics

    Fourth, Chinese sport disqualifications can often reflect internal Chinese politics. One only need note the intricacies within the Bo Xilai saga to get a hint of how internal politics unfold. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Xilai Compare the politics with the study on the political context for doping here: http://www.daliyang.com/files/Leung_and_Yang_antidoping_and_governance_China.pdf

    Fifth, the athletes may not know they are being doped. In East Germany many of the athletes did not know they were being doped until later when problems emerged. In the end, we can see the effects in East Germany, and around the world, as athletes who doped have suffered serious health issues and many have died young. Perhaps we should compare life expectancy in the next 30 years to see the difference. One only need to compare the post-olympic life of Sharron Davies with Petra Schneider.

    Lastly, the United States teams may be relatively cleaner than other teams, but that does make them absolutely clean. What is particularly noticeable is when you compare the times from 2008 to 2012 and the qualifying times

    Here are the times in 2008
    WR before 2008 Olympics Katie Hoff (USA) 4:31.12 USA 29 June 2008

    OR and WR by RIce 4:29.45
    Rice qualified at 4:35.11 finishes 1st with 4:29.45 (she dropped 5.6 seconds in final)
    Beisal qualifying fastest at 4:34.55 finishes 4th at 4:34.24 drops .31
    Katie Hoff qualifies at 4:34.63 finishes 3rd at 4:31.71 drops 1.08
    Kirsty Coventry qualifies at 4:36.43 finishes second at 4:29.89 drops 6.5 seconds

    Compare times in 2012
    Qualfying Final Time dropped
    1. Elizabeth Beisel (U.S.) 4 31.68 4:31.27 -.41
    2. Ye Shiwen (China) 4:31.73 4:28.43 -3.3 seconds
    3. Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) 4:33.77 4:33.49 -.28
    4. Li Xuanxu (China) 4:34.28 4:32.91 -1.37
    5. Mireia Belmonte (Spain) 4:34.70 4:35.62 +
    6. Hannah Miley (Britain) 4:34.98 4:34.17 -.81
    7. Stephanie Rice (Australia) 4:35.76 4:35.49 -.27
    8. Caitlin Leverenz (U.S.) 4:36.09 4:35.49 -.6
    + 1 05 CHN YE Shiwen 4:28.43 WR –
    + 2 04 USA BEISEL Elizabeth 4:31.27 +2.84
    + 3 06 CHN LI Xuanxu 4:32.91 +4.48
    Qualifying
    1. Elizabeth Beisel (U.S.) 4 minutes 31.68 seconds
    2. Ye Shiwen (China) 4:31.73
    3. Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) 4:33.77 4.
    Beisal 2008
    In the end, you have ask “What price glory?” Is it worth it? The swim was great, but was it legitimate will not be known for some time. If you consider that the runner up was clean, does that mean that the gap 2.84 seconds, which is

  43. Brian M says:
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    Muffat went 1:00.68 over the last 100 to win the Gold in the 400 Free. Why is Shewin not in the 400 Free? Answer this riddle…Find an instance in any olympic games where the female gold medalist outsplit the male gold medalist in ANY event. You won’t because it never happened! But you are going to try and sell me a steaming pile of “superior technique, aerobic base, blah blah” I have been to the rodeo too many times for that cowboy. Add to the fact that not only was it the time she swam over the last 100 meters, but the way she swam it that was the dead giveaway. She looked like she had just dived in the pool…it was absurd.

    • Gary says:
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      Why is it not you doubters who should answer this riddle? Why isn’t she in 400 Free were she doping? Wouldn’t the (or any) doping regime want to sweep as many golds as possible?

      My answer? She is still a little girl, and this is her first Olympics. It’s natural she wants to start small and try to focus on her strongest events.

      And BTW, what kind of drugs would significantly improve your freestyle performance but not your other styles?

  44. Davis b says:
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    Those who say there is no evidence in this case have their heads in the sand…
    I dont care who she is and where she came for. The number 1 evidence of “suspected” drug use is a highly unlikely result often breaking a world record. A positive drug test is the number one evidence for a “confirmed” drug use athlete.

    show me one similar example of a female swimmer winning a gold medal in the same olympics as the Male swimmer IM400 leg for leg. Its absurd. let alone her age, previous performances etc. I bet it cant be done…. and as per usual the pro chinese will ignore the data and complain about prejudice…..

    any logical fair evaluation of this result is it is most probably enhanced via a drug or dopping regime.

  45. Swimmer123 says:
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    what about Missy Franklin ? she’s 17 years old and swam amazing. So is she using drugs too ? Let’s just wait until the drug test comes back before we criticize someone’s archeivment

    • Jcoach says:
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      If Missy comes home in 28 mid in the 200 back – like the fastest men, I will call her a cheat – loud and clear.

  46. Frank says:
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    Where is the video of Shewin? Not on youtube or NBC site. Pretty sad they didn’t record this performance.

  47. The Impossible says:
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    You all can cry more about it. You guys can accept a guy (Phelps) doing the impossible back in 08(shattering many records). Now you see a Chinese girl done something that looks impossible in a way similar to Phelps and u say she is “Doping”. Doping or not, it still takes skills and talents. GO cry more about it.

  48. The Impossible says:
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    Oh and by the way, records are meant to be broken.

  49. Mike says:
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    All swimmers in the Olympic finals have trained hard, refined and practiced technique. Their times should be similar. If you look to the women’s heat and finals times at the 2008 Olympics, the difference between the slowest and fastest freestyle leg, for the top 30 women, was about 4.2 seconds!!

    For Shiwen to achieve her time, she needed her freestyle leg to be over 6 seconds better than Rice’s freestyle leg.

    It is an obvious outlier that highlights that something is suspect.

  50. Josh says:
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    It’s interesting to note that in this video where a Chinese official verifies her involvement in the systematic doping of athletes in the 1990s, she uses the exact terminology Ye Shiwen did after her race: “scientific training”.

    http://www.smh.com.au/olympics/news-london-2012/chinese-olympians-subjected-to-routine-doping-20120726-22v65.html

    • Highupon says:
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      http://v.qq.com/cover/5/5kezjzuu3vwksj7.html
      This is the video, hope you guys outside China can see it. As the website is hosted in China, not sure it can be viewed abroad.

      It’s interesting to see all the discussion here, and maybe some of you, who clearly knows of a lot of swimming could have some more insights once watching the video.

      “Scientific training” is just kind of cliche a lot of people working or growing up in a governmental texture in China would routinely used. Don’t think itself proves anything.

      I am a Chinese, bumped into this site to see how people with certain serious interest in swimming are saying about this. I enjoy reading most of the posts here as this clearly is an abnormal phenomena. I don’t know whether she is doped or not, and I sincerely hope she is not for the sports and her own sake. On the other hand, she is just a young girl that would follow everything the coach asks her to do, give her a break. My own uncle had been on a China national sport team, so that I know a bit about how it is like to leave home at a very young age and live a seclusive life ONLY for the sports. If you watch her interview, her answers are dry, dull and very simple. That’s because the kind of life they live doesn’t prepare her for this kind of publicity at all: they train 6 days a week, more than 50 weeks a year and get up to train before dawn every day. Ye is from a humble family, so little chance to polish herself from family’s perspective too.

      Since I am Chinese, I’d share what I know. Both Ye and Sun grew up and trained in the same team (actually seems like the same coach who has been working on the team for 30 years) belong to Zhejiang Province. Zhejiang is one of the wealthiest provinces in China (only after Beijing and Shanghai), so that it can afford cutting-edge (reading: really expensive) equipment that allow them to record, analyze (all kinds of experts) and improve swimmers substantially. This is what I read from news, and I do think it is mostly true. There you have some common factors between Sun and Ye, both performed extraordinarily in this Olympic game. Obviously, Sun has much more consistent track record, but he is senior than Ye, which should be considered.

      Actually, in China, Sun’s winning is much more sensational than Ye’s as Chinese men pretty much lag Chinese women in almost all sports (certainly not just swimming), especially those more physical ones. Thus, Sun’s performance is more widely applauded.

      • perplexed says:
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        All this talk of why her first 3 legs were slow- goodness me, could you imagine if she’d turned it on. farcical, too farcical perhaps. Youthful exuberence has probably let the cat out of the bag though.
        shes a 16yo athete – she does what she is told, go slow first , go fast second she’d also eats what shes told, drinks what she’s told, takes what shes told.
        People here arent comparing her to an american male swimmer, they are comparing her to the olympic champion male swimmer. People want to believe, and so they will. Good luck with that. but while there are countries that rely upon propaganda and nationalism(chinese, ex east german, ex soviet or otherwise) then there will be systemic manipulation of individuals.much, much less to do with race and more to do with politics imo.

        As for ‘lets wait for the drug test’ …are you serious? these guys dont get pinged at comps, they know what they are doing.

      • Mike Ross says:
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        This is a good point to make. I agree with HIGHUPON; I doubt that Ye knows she is being doped. I also doubt that China as a nation is directly involved. Given the embarrassment over the past 2 decade and reading about their current policies, I trust that China is doing everything that they can to detect and prevent this type of activity. Unfortunately, there are other parties involved, coaches and other sporting officials, who still have incentive to produce medals and here lies the problem.

        I hope this has not been lost in all of this discussion – no nation athlete, coach, official or nation is immune to cheating because, frankly there are too many incentives to cheat and not enough punishment for cheating.

  51. Tea says:
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    I’m not skeptical because of one split – that’s a crazy swim, but that’s just how she paced it.

    I’m skeptical because the Chinese women haven’t opened the door to full transparency since getting busted in the 90’s for team-wide doping. Excluding the male swimmers who train abroad, they rarely ever swim at international meets. Even for the national meets, we rarely see any coverage from international, non-state controlled media.

    It seems clear to me that the Chinese are focused on racking up as many medals as possible for national pride. They are not interested in being part of an international swimming community, they are not interested in atoning for past sins, and they are not interested in other countries respect. A program that had truly turned over a new leaf would go out of its way to share athletes’ blood samples, in a way that is so transparent and frequent that no one could question their integrity. China still hasn’t done this, so I remain skeptical everytime a Liu Zige or Ye Shiwen comes out of nowhere and pulls out mind-boggling swims.

  52. Tea says:
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    As for the inevitable charges of racism…. The Koreans and Japanese and Chinese swimmers training abroad, like Sun and Wu Peng, don’t get this kind of criticism. The Chinese, particularly women, have specifically earned this suspicion because of their history of doping and culture of secrecy.

  53. Isi says:
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    That was the oldest chinese trick in the book, play on what they perceive as a weakness “the trust of westerners” by playing the victim and saying they won’t allow their athletes certain meats and then do the absolute opposite by doping. They’ve done it before more than once.

    If she’s not been doping then her reply should have been “okay, where do you need me to be for the test?” but instead she ‘defends’ herself. Test her and have done with it, this isn’t going to go away, the same as the tampered passport little gymnast girls didn’t.

    No more time to watch the sham olympics from our household, its obviously unfair and they have one set of rules for China and investment … but another for everyone else!

  54. 0
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    My comments were garbled at the end.

    I was trying to say that the United States is relatively cleaner than other countries, but it (nor can any country) claim to be absolutely clean. By that I mean, athletes will do what they believe they need to do to win whether or not their sport’s organisation knows or not.

    In the final part I was trying to show that the US swimmers had consistent times in heats and finals and were beaten by large drops in 2008 and 2012. In 2012 the Chinese were the only ones showing a drop of more than a second ie 3.3 and 1.8. The Americans are remarkably consistent. Biesel is nearly the same for qualifying and final in 2008 and 2012!

    What is amazing is comparing the splits in the women’s 400m Free. Ye Shiwen’s final 100 (with a flip turn) is 4th faster against the top 100s from the blocks!
    MUFFAT 57.83 Off the blocks Final 100 60.78
    Schmitt 58.11 Off the blocks Final 100 60.68
    Adlington 58.97 Off the blocks Final 100 60.22
    FRIIS 58.8 Off the blocks Final 100 61.11
    Pelligrini 58.47. Off the blocks Final 100 61.51

    Shiwen 58.68 Flipturn Final 100 58.68

    She is 2 seconds faster than 400F specialists on her final 100 and she is faster or nearly as fast on her final leg (When she has already swam 300m HARD) as the 400F specialists are off the blocks, without being worn down by 300M of swimming.

    When you add the 300m of hard swimming in to the equation Shiwen is still 2 seconds faster than the best 400m F specialists in the world one of whom set a OR to win.

    The numbers tell the story.

  55. arrogantprick says:
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    I’m no swimming guru, but her times in 2010 Asian Games seems equally impressive, considering she was 14 years. I’m not sure what all this “came out of nowhere” talk is about – seems more like a young prodigy that is training and living up to her potential.

    200M IM – 2:09.37
    400M IM – 4:33.79
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_at_the_2010_Asian_Games

    Her final 50M in the 200M IM seems right on track with what she did Saturday, not an anomaly. I’ll expect to see it again tomorrow in the 200M final.

    If she was taking anabolics, she likely would have started the year before at the age of 13 to get results like this, which casts doubt on the theory. It wouldn’t make a lot sense physiologically to start when someone is already going through puberty, especially in a non-olympic year.

  56. underwater says:
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    A few points:

    -Last year at World Champs, Sun Yang’s final 50 of his 1500 free (25.94) was faster than the final 50 of EVERYBODY in the 200 free, including Phelps, Lochte, Agnel, and Park. Let me repeat that. The final 50 of A FREAKIN’ 1500 was faster than the final 50 of a 200!! Not only was it faster, it was MORE THAN 1 SECOND faster than four of the guys in that final! It was over a third of second faster than the fastest final 50 of anyone in the field! And yet, because he trains in Australia, he doesn’t draw the suspicious ire of the swimming community. Isn’t it possible that Chinese swimmers and coaches are pushing the boundaries of how much one can/should negative split a race?

    -Ye’s final 100 is CLEARLY out of the ordinary, but you guys are only looking at times, not every piece of relevant data. Do any of you have data on Ye’s blood lactate? Is it not possible that she is a “freak among freaks” as Lochte’s trainer would say? Michael Phelps has unbelievably low blood lactate levels, as do nearly all elite athletes in this sport. If your muscles produce absurdly low levels of lactic acid and you have an aerobic base, yeah, you’re gonna be capable of producing some incredible closing splits.

    -Ultimately, if you want to believe she cheated, go ahead. Personally, I was rooting for Beisel, who I really like based off her interviews, and if Ye cheated I would be really pissed. Maybe one day I will be eating my own words, but until then I’m as disgusted by the accusations of cheating as I was when people accused Phelps a decade ago. Also, I would like to point out we’re watching a swim meet where a woman swam a 55 100 fly, a guy went a 58.4 100 breast, a girl went a 58.2 100 back… and that’s just the first two days. Why aren’t we freaking out about those incredible performances? Expect the unexpected.

    • Mike Ross says:
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      Frankly, I did find Sun Yang’s final 100 to be awfully suspicious, for the very points that you make.

      Do we have access to other pieces of data about Ye? I have scoured the web looking for past performances and split information and can find very little to help bolster an argument in favor of Ye being clean? The searches leave me with more questions like, “if Ye is this good in freestyler, why did she not qualify for the Olympics in any freestyle events?” If you can find out that type of information, please share it with us.

      Is there some site that posts Ye’s lactate levels? Not sure that would help, however, as I would expect that any type of doping would improve lactate levels.

      You are absolutely right, there are many amazing swims that have happened in this meet. What many of us are pointing to is, not the race, it is the SPLIT that stands out like a beacon.

      An interesting article on the topic, with comments from John Leonard: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/30/ye-shiwen-world-record-olympics-2012?newsfeed=true

      • Rafael says:
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        Ye world champion on 2011 on 200 medley with an amazing split is a result.

        I think you should check Pereira split alto, his breast split is 2 second faster than what Phelps did when he got WR..

      • underwater says:
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        Mike, I just copied and pasted this from a comment I made earlier:

        “I completely agree with all the people who are wondering why she is not entered in more events. However, if you look at the rest of the Chinese Olympic team, you’ll see a similar pattern of not entering in as many events as they possibly could. Braden Keith wrote an article about this several weeks back. For example, Wang Shun is only swimming the 200 IM, when he could be swimming the 200 free, 1500 free, and 400 IM as well. In the women’s breaststrokes, their top two swimmers in the 100 and 200 are only swimming the 200. Clearly the Chinese coaches are wary of overextending their swimmers. I personally disagree with this strategy, but that’s why Ye isn’t swimming the freestyles. If they leave her off their 4×200 it will be a terrible decision.”

        Here is the link for the article Braden Keith wrote:
        http://swimswam.com/2012/07/china-reveals-olympic-roster-strange-entries-abound/

        I also just read the article you linked to. “Any time someone has looked like superwoman in the history of our sport they have later been found guilty of doping.” – John Leonard. Um, what about Tracy Caulkins in the early 70s/late 80s, Janet Evans in the late 80s, or Natalie Coughlin in 2002? What about Phelps in 2008 – is it only doping if it’s a woman dominating? John Leonard just embarrassed himself.

        • Mike Ross says:
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          UNDERWATER, I saw your post, but did not comment. I have a theory about why the Chinese aren’t in multiple events but I need to do more research. I will say that I don’t believe that this represents caution about overextending their swimmers. If the Chinese coaches truly have some knowledge about conditioning their swimmers better than other coaches in the world, then certainly, they can find ways of conditioning their athletes for more than 2 events.

          I disagree about John embarrassing himself. I agree that choosing the word “superwoman” was a mistake because that term and “superman” are used to describe a lot of great swimmers. I’ve heard it used to describe a powerful swimmer and I have used it to describe a “too-good-to-be-true” swimmer. If John had chosen to describe these athletes as “too-good-to-be-true” then I am in complete agreement with John.

          This reminds me a bit about about the phrase used above, “Phelps doing the impossible”. That phrase, also, has been used too frequently, but not correctly. If what Phelps did was impossible, then why were so many predicting that he might do it before the last Olympics? People thought there WAS a chance for Phelps to have an unprecedented performance. What would people have given the odds of a woman finishing faster than a man in the 400 IM at this Olympics?

          • Cleanitup says:
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            Mike said: What would people have given the odds of a woman finishing faster than a man in the 400 IM at this Olympics?

            Now you went too far…Faster than which man? You or me? :-)

  57. Tea says:
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    A Note to Swimswam comment moderators –
    Perhaps we could make a new article/comment section out of this? Doping is a very important issue to our sport, but it is overshadowing the very significant achievements of some very hard-working, talented, and definitely not doping girls in the world.

  58. arrogantprick says:
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    2010 Asian Games (14 years old)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-CpD8t_5Rw

    This shows how dominant she is in the last 50M of the 200M as 14 year old.

    2011 World Championships – 200M IM (I’m guessing 15 years old)

    http://www.omegatiming.com/File/Download?id=00010B0D001E000000FFFFFFFFFFFF01

    Almost a second faster than the next fastest 50M free split.

  59. Tea says:
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    I would like to advance a theory of “Ye Shiwen is Doping” with a

    HUGE DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to allege any specific incidents. I do not have any inside knowledge of Chinese training methods, or even any credentials (like a degree in chemistry) that would qualify me as an “expert” on doping. I don’t want to start unsubstantiated rumors. I’m just putting this theory out on the internet with the hopes that people more educated than myself will critique this theory, fix factual errors, refine it, or hopefully prove it wrong.

    THE THEORY: As I understand it, “doping” in cycling (the ultimate endurance sport) is not about easily-detected, strength-building hormones. A crude model of it is a simple, two-step process:

    1. You “donate blood.”
    2. On the day of your competition, you re-inject yourself with your own blood. This boosts your red blood cell count and ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. Essentially, you get temporary, super-human endurance.

    This is incredibly hard to detect. World-class athletes always have unnaturally high red blood cell counts, through genetics and training. A single test won’t tease it out. The only way to detect it is to compare several consecutive days of blood tests.

    I believe the American cyclist Floyd Landis got busted for this on the Tour de France. On a grueling day in the Alps, he pulled out a Ye-Shiwen-closing-the-400-IM type performance; he pulled from the middle of the pack to scorching out front. Subsequent blood tests showed that his red blood cell count spiked the day that he put out that dominating performance.

    This MIGHT explain Shiwen’s performance. Any thoughts on this?

    • underwater says:
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      The reason this cheating technique is often found in cycling is because each stage is often several hours long. Thus your aerobic system (which will convert oxygen to energy) is supplying the athletes body with much of the energy needed to perform. The race in question was a mere 4 and and half minutes. In any all out race of this duration, most of the energy comes from the anaerobic system – oxygen doesn’t provide the energy. In fact, in the 400 IM less than 5% of your energy comes from the aerobic system (the one where oxygen can be converted into energy). Thus, the ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles would not give you much help in a 400 IM. In the Tour de France, stages are several hours long, and the aerobic system is much more important.

  60. David Berkoff says:
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    I’m guessing UNDERWATER is a Chinese media spin-master hell-bent on convincing the rest of the world that Shiwen is the product of great genetics, super-advanced training, and a selection process that has 1 billion people to work with. That excuse didn’t work in 1994. I’ve been in this sport for over 40 years and I think I know when something seems too good to be true. 23 posts by UNDERWATER isn’t going to convince me otherwise.

    • Mike Ross says:
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      I was afraid you had lost your enthusiasm for a good fight! Good to hear from you, David!

    • underwater says:
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      Holy crap, I just got insulted by the swimmer who popularized the swimming technique that inspired my posting name! Honestly, I think that’s pretty cool.

      For the record, I am American. If you had actually read my posts, then you would have noticed that I wrote multiple times that I am NOT sure that Ye did not cheat. I am merely trying to point out that one crazy split is NOT evidence of actual cheating. I even mentioned that one day I may have to eat my words! If I’m really a “Chinese media spin-master”, I’m a pretty terrible one.

      However, I understand where you are coming from emotionally. You were on a few national teams where hard working swimmers from the USA and elsewhere were denied their rightful medals because of the disgusting institutionalized cheating that existed at the time. If I had been in your position, I would probably be really wary of any and all surprising performances, especially if they’re from an athlete representing one of the countries with institutionalized doping. The problem is that your experiences make you significantly less objective on this matter.

      • puppets says:
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        That’s funny. As if being American, temporizing about whether or not she did cheat and – gosh darn it! – even being prepared to admit one day that you’re wrong, doesn’t make you a Chinese spin-master. Sounds like the PERFECT cover.

        Of course, I’m not saying you ARE . . .

  61. kurutoga says:
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    Rebecca Adlington, Shanghai 2011
    Last 50m in her 800m free style race: 28.91 seconds

    Ryan Lochte is not fast in the last 50m, is he?

  62. Bandito says:
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    “. In fact, in the 400 IM less than 5% of your energy comes from the aerobic system (the one where oxygen can be converted into energy)”

    — you’re kidding right? the 50/100 you use mostly anaerobic, the 400 IM is mostly aerobic (VO2MAX)…

    Ye’s was a 5 standard deviation sort of performance…

  63. lv2srf95 says:
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    IF she was doping, then everyone should start doping. And wearing rubber suits. Because that was so exciting to watch.

    • Brian says:
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      HEY. I liked my LZR! I mean, it was fine going back to the original suits, but still…. (JK :D)

      I’ve actually kind of wondered. If we’re going for equal suit coverage, shouldn’t the men be able to still have those partial-body suit versions of the Fastskin 3 or LZR Elite? I mean, women get more suit coverage…shouldn’t it be all about equality?

  64. underwater says:
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    For all of you who can’t fathom an elite female swimmer having a faster closing split than an elite male swimmer – it happened a mere 5 years ago!!

    At World Champs 2007, Kate Ziegler’s last 50 of her 800 was a 28.80

    That’s faster than the final 50 for 5 of the 8 finalists in the Men’s 400 IM at the same meet. And keep in mind, the race Ziegler was swimming was twice as long!!

    Final 50s:
    Phelps – 27.79
    Lochte – 28.60
    Marin – 27.58
    Meloulli – 28.81
    Cseh – 29.91
    Drymonakos – 29.30
    Demetis – 29.13
    Kerekjarto – 29.47

    The results are all on omegatiming.

    • Mike Ross says:
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      Sigh… KURUTOGA seemed to be trying to make a similar argument after complaining about apples to orange comparisons at the beginning of this discussion. It seems that you two both need to brush up on your fruit:

      400 IM Women – Apple; 400 IM Men – Apple.
      800 Free Women – Orange; 400 IM Men – Apple.

      Admittedly, I myself have compared Ye’s final 100 with women’s 400 freestyles, which may not be a valid comparison, but would at least consider the women’s 400 free to be another type of apple.

      • underwater says:
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        I’m comparing 50 meters of freestyle that begin with a foot touch and end with a hand touch. Same distance, same stroke, same place within the race.

        You’re arguing that Ziegler’s last 50 was faster than the majority of the men’s last 50s because she had to swim a LONGER race?

        But I’ll play by your rules. At last years world champs, Federica Pellegrini AND Lottle Friis closed out their 400 frees (which you call an “apple”) in 29.28. That’s faster than the last 50 for 4 out of the 8 finalists in the Men’s 400 IM.

  65. euroswimfan says:
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    Here’s AP’s take on this –

    At any rate, can’t wait to see how much Ye will destroy the rest of the field by in the 200 IM final tomorrow!

  66. underwater says:
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    Here’s another possibility:

    Some deadbeat father in China is refusing to raise their child. The child asks his father when they will be a family again. The father says, “I’d say when Ye Shiwen goes a 4:28 in her 400 IM”. That night, the child prays to God that Ye will swim a 4:28 so he can have a family again.

    Flash forward to race day. The child is watching from the stands. Ye falls a little behind on the fly, but does her best to catch up. By the 300 mark she’s moved up into second place, but she touches at 3:29.75. A 4:28 seems impossible, but the child remains hopeful. Suddenly, two angels swoop down from the rafters and start pushing Ye from behind. She surges past Beisel into the lead. The angels push her all the way to the finish… a 4:28!

    Everybody is shocked by her final split. The child approaches the Chinese Olympic team coach, a bitter former swimmer whose own Olympic dream was cut short by a shoulder injury. The child tells the coach that Ye “has an angel on her,” and that she should be put on the 4×200 free relay, even though she usually swims IM. The coach is dismissive at first. Then in the 200 IM, Ye again stays with the pack through 150, until two more angels arrive and push her way out in front to another gold medal.

    Now the coach begins to believe. He decides to put Ye on the 4×200, and tells the public that angels are helping her to achieve incredible closing splits. The coach is roundly criticized by his own countrymen, and the Chinese Olympic committee attempts to remove him from their staff for promoting a “false Western God”. However, his team rallies around him and refuses to swim for any other coach. The coach holds a news conference and says, “You can call it training, you can call it talent, you can call it angels, you can call it performance enhancing drugs, you can call it whatever you want…”

    Meanwhile, the child asks his father if they can have a family now that Ye went a 4:28 in the 400 IM. The father cowardly backs off his previous statement and refuses to raise the child.

    In the 4×200 relay, Ye comes up with an incredible split to give the Chinese the gold. The coach is praised as a genius and a hero. He decides to adopt the child, and in this way, the child’s wish to have a family is ultimately fulfilled.

  67. David Berkoff says:
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    Underwater, I apologize for being so harsh, but this swim is so out there I cannot help but be very suspicious. I’d feel this way even if it were an American.

    • underwater says:
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      You don’t have to apologize, you were just voicing your opinion. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little suspicious as well, I’m just trying to reserve judgement. I would also feel terrible for Ye if she’s not cheating, and we’re not giving her the respect she’s due. In this way the previous cheaters from China have hurt swimmers from their own nation for generations to come, but I also think that you’re right in saying that if an American closed in a 58.6, a lot of people would be suspicious. It really is a ludicrous split.

      PS: You’re one of my favorite swimmers of all time!

  68. swim coach says:
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    john leonard, dirt bag extraordinaire! this guy claims to “be someone” in the swimming community, but his recent comments regarding the women’s 400 IM world record were just him trying to get some attention. and for british media to look to him, wtf?

    “… her time of 4:28 was unbelievable and impossible…” well, obviously it wasn’t impossible. leonard continues to comment on the physical appearance of the swimmer, etc.

    he then questions the athlete’s remarkable progression in time. so john, what do YOU think is a “normal” amount of improvement?

    until the samples are proven doped, john, you need to shut the “f” up! who have you ever developed? go back to your little island in florida and just keep taking people’s money and calling yourself an expert.

  69. Landlubbers says:
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    hope Ye to participate more games in future, since after London Olympics there will be lots of sponsors for her so that she can afford to compete frequently in Europe and America.
    China has a bad history on doping, and it will take much more time to get most people’s trusts. Whatever, time will tell us. I’ll just enjoy her show.
    I wish she could be as good as Missy Franklin in the furure, and next Olympics will be more interesting.

  70. arrogantprick says:
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    She swam a disappointed split in the 4×200 – 1:57 something. Extrapolating from her freestyle times in the IMs, I was hoping for something crazy. I guess she is human after all.

    • Tony says:
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      She swam her second 100 in 1:00.87. That’s slower than both Lochte and her freestyle leg in the 400 IM! Don’t know how this fits in with the doping or not doping theories.

      • arrogantprick says:
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        It doesn’t. Nothing anyone has said is evidence of doping.

      • puppets says:
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        It totally fits in with the doping theory. She made it too obvious in the IM so she had to tone it down. It would have been less suspicious had she blitzed her leg of the 200. She went from Superwoman to ordinary in four days. What, did she suddenly lose her “enormous aerobic capacity”? Ludicrous.

        • arrogantprick says:
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          Yeah, I guess it is pretty suspicious that she “only” PRed and set new textile records twice in the same day in the 200M IM after the fatigue of a big PR and WR in one of the most demanding events, the 400M IM.

          A much more plausible theory is that the Chinese are scared of the wrath of swimming community so she had to tone it down. Never mind that she is tested the same either way, and it would provide no benefit to win only by a little.

          I heard from inside Chinese sources that they conspired to put her in the 4×200 and had her swim an average 1:57 to alleviate further suspicion. Being that that didn’t work, they’re going to put her in the 4×100 medley and have her do the doggy paddle with water wings.

          Go back to your moon-landing-was-staged websites.

          • puppets says:
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            And the “extraordinary aerobic capacity”? The “scientific training methods”? What did become of them in the 4 x 200?

            And spare me your peurile scorn mate. It only weakens your argument. Which is plenty weak enough to start with.

  71. Landlubbers says:
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    Elizabeth Beisel, (born August 18, 1992)
    2006: 4:50.31
    2007: 4:44.87 -5s!
    2008: 4:32.87 -12s!

    John Leonard, as you see, I just caught a drug user!

    • Mike Ross says:
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      The is a very lengthy record on Elizabeth’s performances going back to when she was 9 years old. You can find this publicly accessible information here:

      http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1470&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US

      Searching the US database, you can see Elizabeth’s clear progression from age 9. You can see how she has performed in many events not just the 400 IM.

      Is the same information available for Shiwen? I haven’t found it. If it is out there, please share this information. It might help resolve the many suspicions that so many of us have.

      We’ve been told that Shiwen is a “freestyle specialist”, for instance, but there is very little evidence to support that claim.

      I agree it is unfair to say the Shiwen came out of nowhere, but it doesn’t help that it is very difficult to find Shiwen’s times and splits over her career. If China wants to reduce suspicion, a good start would be to give a record of their swimmers progressions.

      • ArrogantPrick says:
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        This has been stated before a couple of times on this post already, but she had exceptional times at 14. In 2 years she has PRed by about 5.5 seconds in the 400IM…very underwhelming for someone of that age. The swimming world should have been well aware of her since that the 2010 Asian Games. The fact that they haven’t shows a lot of ignorance and lack of knowledge about up and comping swimmers around the world – also a world champ in 2011 at 15.

        The video of her at 14 here:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-CpD8t_5Rw

        Being that she has 3 of the 5 last 50M splits in the last few years (see below), with the 5th best at 14 years of age, and the other two also from a Chinese swimmer, it is obvious they train them to hold back a bit a close hard.

        It is complete stupidity to compare her to Ryan Lochte or any other decent male swimmer. If Lochte was allowed to come in through 300M at the same pace as Shiwen, he’d beat her in by in the final 100M by 9 seconds. What’s the point of comparing the final 50M when he’s beaten her by 23 seconds? John Leonard obviously doesn’t have the ability to think rationally – never mind being a complete a**hole who would try to destroy the Olympic experience of 16 girl who worked her ass off since she was a kid without a shred of evidence.

        You can view more splits, in better format here:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/2012/aug/02/olympics-2012-ye-shiwen-400-medley-statistics-data

        Swimmer Total mm:ss#th Competition 400m split (seconds)
        Ye Shiwen 04m28s43 Olympics 2012 28.93
        Li Xuanxu 04m32s91 Olympics 2012 29.77
        Ye Shiwen 04m35s15 Worlds 2011 29.88
        Li Xuanxu 04m35s78 Worlds 2011 29.95
        Ye Shiwen 04m33s79 Asian Games 2010 30.09
        Mireaia Belmonte Garcia 04m34s94 Worlds 2011 30.24
        Cammile Adams 04m38s62 US Trials 2012 30.32
        Hannah Miley 04m34s22 Worlds 2011 30.35
        Stephanie Rice 04m34s23 Worlds 2011 30.49
        Becca Mann 04m41s61 US Trials 2012 30.69
        Hannah Miley 04m34s17 Olympics 2012 30.73
        Elizabeth Beisel 04m31s78 Worlds 2011 30.78
        Elizabeth Beisel 04m31s27 Olympics 2012 30.81
        Maya Dirado 04m38s67 US Trials 2012 30.91
        Katinka Hosszu 04m33s49 Olympics 2012 30.93
        Elizabeth Beisel 04m31s74 US Trials 2012 31.07
        Mireaia Belmonte Garcia 04m35s62 Olympics 2012 31.08
        Stina Gardell 04m38s46 Euro Champs 2012 31.1
        Barbora Zavadova 04m38s07 Euro Champs 2012 31.12
        Li Xuanxu 04m38s05 Asian Games 2010 31.14
        Katinka Hosszu 04m33s76 Euro Champs 2012 31.22
        Anja Klinar 04m42s00 Euro Champs 2012 31.26
        Stefania Pirozzi 04m43s72 Euro Champs 2012 31.27
        Sarah Henry 04m42s45 US Trials 2012 31.31
        Stephanie Rice 04m35s49 Olympics 2012 31.33
        Meghan Hawthorne 04m41s75 US Trials 2012 31.39
        Zsuzsanna Jakabos 04m35s68 Euro Champs 2012 31.48
        Caitlin Leverenz 04m35s49 Olympics 2012 31.75
        Caitlin Leverenz 04m34s48 US Trials 2012 31.84
        Barbora Zavadova 04m38s04 Worlds 2011 31.87
        Haley Anderson 04m46s12 US Trials 2012 32.06
        Cheng Wan-Jung 04m41s55 Asian Games 2010 32.19
        Alessia Polieri 04m48s72 Euro Champs 2012 32.46
        Maiko Fujino 04m42s31 Asian Games 2010 32.53
        Ranohon Amanova 04m55s49 Asian Games 2010 32.67
        Caitlin Leverenz 04m38s80 Worlds 2011 32.73
        Pattawaradee Kittiya 04m57s44 Asian Games 2010 32.97
        Izumi Kato 04m46s02 Asian Games 2010 33.06
        Nam Yoo Sun 04m47s11 Asian Games 2010 33.38
        Lara Grangeon 04m53s98 Euro Champs 2012 33.53

        • puppets says:
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          “It is complete stupidity to compare her to Ryan Lochte or any other decent male swimmer. If Lochte was allowed to come in through 300M at the same pace as Shiwen, he’d beat her in by in the final 100M by 9 seconds. What’s the point of comparing the final 50M when he’s beaten her by 23 seconds?”

          What is “complete stupidity” is that statement. The “point” of comparing them is that a girl, having swum the first 300m of an Olympic 400IM final close to as fast as a girl can swim the first 300 of a 400IM, then swam the final 100 close to as fast as A MAN can swim it. The fact that Lochte beat her by 23 seconds IN THE OTHER THREE LEGS makes it ten times as suspicious.

          For an arrogant prick you’re none too sharp.

          • Cleanitup says:
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            “The fact that Lochte beat her by 23 seconds IN THE OTHER THREE LEGS makes it ten times as suspicious.”

            I’m not following. Can you elaborate?

          • puppets says:
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            Sure. I’m presuming Lochte and Ye both swam their first 300s close to flat out, otherwise you wouldn’t be in the hunt surely. At the end of that 300 Lochte comparatively was 23 seconds faster, which is what you’d expect given the gender difference. Now I imagine Lochte’s best time for a jump start 100m is 48 low or 47 high – something like that. Take away the jump start as it’s obviously a tumble turn in the medley and you add what? 3 seconds? So let’s say 51 seconds for a hundred with a tumble turn – IF you haven’t swum the first 300 of an IM flat out first. Lochte’s 58.65 for the free leg was 7 or 8 seconds slower than that, obviously as a result of fatigue. So Ye can EITHER swim freestyle as fast as Lochte at around the same fatigue levels OR she conserved enough energy in the first 300 of an Olympic 400 IM final to swim the last 100 as though she’d done nothing more than a gentle warmup for the first three laps. She obviously can’t swim as fast as Lochte so it must be the latter. The question then is HOW did she conserve so much energy? At 16? In the toughest event certainly in women’s swimming? Against the best in the world? Now I must agree with everyone who says there’s no proof. But there is such a thing as CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, and Ye’s preposterous split married to China’s doping history, while not constituting PROOF, gives cause for the suspicion so many people – including many who know far more about swimming than most of us bums – are voicing.

    • ZYNG43 says:
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      leave Beisel out of your trolling bro. She’s a fan favorite, a hard worker who improved over time with normal drops. The biggest drop she had was during the suit era and at an age where many have had break out meets.

      • arrogantprick says:
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        Not that you or any of the Ye haters care, but the point is it’s an enormous double standard to accuse Ye based on improvements an not other swimmers with FAR greater improvements at that age, and in face 5.5 seconds from 14 to 16 years of age is unimpressive, so it’s a stupid argument in the first place.

        Any why leave Beisel out? Evidently the standard to denigrate requires no evidence, so why is she or anyone else untouchable where it’s open game on Ye? I guess we shouldn’t go after “fan favorites”, right? Well Ye is a national hero to 1.3 billion people, and 95% of American’s have already forgotten who Elisabeth Beisel is.

        By attacking Ye with no evidence, everyone else become fair game. Congrats all.

  72. billG says:
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    re: ye shiwen

    for what it’s worth:

    per FINA.org website (click on anti-doping) she was tested by FINA “unannounced out-of-competition” on 26 Feb 2012, 14 Nov 2011, 25 Jun 2011 & In-competition on 25 July 2011, 15 Dec 2010 & 10 Dec 2010 [last updated 23 April 2012].

  73. yiyi says:
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    She has actually been tested for using drugs and she passed multiple times. But, America is saying that the machines were not up to date enough and couldn’t have shown accurate results. Just give it up people. She is a great swimmer. If she was from America, I bet not even one person will question her breaking a world record. Why didn’t anyone question Michael Phelps when he won all those gold medals in swimming four years ago? Just face it. China is becoming a world power. Almost every single person competing in the Olympics are wearing clothes in their sports wearing clothes MADE IN CHINA. Yet, America still owes China billions of dollars and still thinks they’re better.

    • puppets says:
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      Lots of drug cheats have been tested and passed multiple times. Some we know of, most no doubt we never will. It’s a non-argument. And if She was from America and produced that preposterous time, she’d be crucified. That’s a fact. Just as it is fact – not resentment or racism – to say that China has an appalling record when it comes to doping. APPALLING. As for Michael Phelps, if he were a drug cheat, would that make it ok for She to be one too? Because that seems to be your argument.

      PS: I’m not American for what it’s worth, I’m Australian.

  74. puppets says:
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    The real problem here is that as soon as I hear the words “extraordinary performance” combined with the words “American sprinter”, or “Bulgarian weghtlifter”, or yes, “Chinese swimmer”, I get incredibly suspicious. You reap what you sow.
    And seriously, if one more person says “she passed her drug test”, I’m gonna puke.

  75. carlo says:
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    katie ledecky is a stylish doper.

  76. carlo says:
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    i still think katie ledecky is a stylish doper

  77. somethingswim says:
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    ye looks like she shaved her head a few months before the olympics. she could have at least trimmed it so it doesn’t look so obvious. similarly with the women’s chinese diving team.
    lots of substances decay in time to be tested clean- but they stay in the hair forever.

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About Davis Wuolle

Davis Wuolle

Davis Wuolle helped found and launch SwimSwam at its inception in 2012. Davis designed and developed SwimSwam.com, utilizing over nine years of web development and design experience.Davis graduated in 2013 from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada where he specialized in Materials Engineering with a focus on Product …

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