Reply to Phil Whitten’s Series on Chinese Swimmers

By Alison Teh
(A Chinese swimmer supporter)

KUALA LAMPUR, Malaysia, Jan. 17. I'VE read Phil Whitten's three part article about Chinese swimmers re-ermerging as a swimming powerhouse especially their woman swimmers. All I can say is I've been waiting for them to come back strongly after their disappointing performance in Sydney 2000. I don't see what's the problem or anything peculiar about the times at their National Games. In fact I applaud it. I am a die-hard swimming fan living in Malaysia and I am sick and tired about people like Phil making pre-judgement about Chinese swimmers. Yes I admit that all these years the Chinese female swimmers have performed better than their male swimmers . But hey you know what, that looks like the trend in China in most sports! Just take a look at their volleyball team. The girls are always better off than the men. So too is their soccer and hockey teams. What about badminton and table tennis where the woman dominates the game like nobody's business. If you want's one. Check out the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and you'll find that China won 16 gold medals and 12 of them are won by women. That's W-O-M-E-N. So maybe their woman have better urged to perform than the man. Or that their women believe that only in sport that they have the best opportunity to outshine their male counterparts. What is so wrong in that! Females are not subject to discrimination and I believe the Chinese have shown us all that women can be the better sex after all. I take comfort in their performance over men.

In another perspective, have you ever thought about the competition from other countries. American and Australian males swimmers are better off than their are they doped too? Put them in the same basket as the Chinese of course the latter fair worse. Common sense tells you that. How many Asians are they in the top ten of all the male events?? Phil Whitten didn't comment on that! Even the Japanese males didn't fair that well either. Let's not forget that most American female stars have retired and good swimmers like Misty Hyman and Brooke Bennett hardly even participate in any swimming events outside their home country. In fact, they weren't even there at the World's in Fukuoka! The Australians female have relatively been weak compare to the male. It just lately that they began to show their true colours. Then there are the Europeans. How many of them are world class material anyway. Only swimmers like Yana Klochkova and Inge de Brujin are worth mentioning. Therefore, what I am trying to proof here is that women competition is more open than men. You can hardly name one swimmer (with the exception of Inge, even she has been accused of doping!) that is so dominant it blows you away. Competition is fair here. The Chinese female swimmers are on par with these swimmers. In fact, they could be better! Take that and except that fact.

Pattern of systematic doping…fine…then why are swimmers like Chen Yan, the 1998 double World Champion and former world record holder is not caught with doping. I mean she has been around for ages…a veteran who has been in the swimming scene since 1995 and has not been caught. Is that laughable since she's always scrutinise for doping? The westeners always say that they have the BEST technology and for that I have absolute confidence in their drug testing system. However, even the BEST can fail. Why don't we all admit that every athlete out there are doped to the maximum but only the richest of them all can get away with doping charge. That leaves the poor Chinese, whose technology is way behind time to suffer the ever harsh criticism of the western world. Admit it that we all hate to see the Chinese climbing to the top of the world, for that is a real threat to the domination of the western world. The Asians are never good enough. Is that it? Prejudice, racist and discrimination. Boy am I glad and happy that the 2008 Olympics will be in Beijing, China. The swimmers will be even more dominant by then. Take my word for it. Beware and keep on criticising!!

Alison Teh
A Chinese swimmer supporter