Ye Shiwen after the podium ceremony of the women's 200m individual medley final on July 31. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)
Say what you wish about Ye Shiwen, but the Chinese swimmer whose exploits have dominated talk in the early days of the games gave a remarkably polished performance at her press conference on Tuesday night.
A packed room listened intently on headphones to the translation of her answers to repeated questions about her thoughts and reaction to the storm of controversy about whether or not she is “clean”.
The press conference lasted about 20 minutes, and although a US swimmer shared the stage with her, pretty much all the questions were directed at the Chinese girl.
Ye is 16 years old, but came across as a veteran rather than a novice. No coaches, no minders, came between her and the media. That may not sound out of the ordinary, but four years ago at the Beijing Olympics they hovered around the press conferences to shield and protect the Chinese athletes, particularly the younger ones, from awkward probing by the media. Read more
China's Ye Shiwen after the finish of the women's 200m individual medley semi-final on Monday. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages
Your morning warm-up is a bit late today, for which, apologies – we’ve been busy with the big story which remains Ye Shiwen, the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer whose incredible performance on Sunday raised some eyebrows. Shiwen, who will be aiming for another gold today, was quoted by China News Service as saying: “My results come from hard work and training and I would never use any banned drugs.” We’ll have more on this story from our Beijing bureau very soon. UPDATE: The story is now live: Chinese social networks defend Shiwen.
Highlights from today’s schedule include:
Swimming - Men’s 200m Butterfly final due to take place at 19.47. Michael Phelps will be out to avenge Saturday’s defeat by his US teammate Ryan Lochte. Ye Shiwen will also be back in the pool for the Women’s 200m individual medley final at 20.39.
Equestrian - The British equestrian team will be looking to overhaul rivals Germany in the final section of the three-day event competition, the showjumping, in Greenwich Park
Gymnastics - China, the US and Russia are likely to battle it out for the podium spots in the final of the women’s team. Read more