Talent, training and thought behind Ye Shiwen's triumph

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 2, 2012
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The suspicion surrounding China's swimming sensation Ye Shiwen didn't stop the 16-year-old prodigy from bagging another gold at the London Olympics on Wednesday. Her latest gold medal came the day after she was declared clean by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Ye Shiwen in women's 400-meter indiviual medley race at 2012 London Olympics. 

John Leonard, an American coach who had branded Ye's performance as ‘suspicious' and ‘unbelievable', went on to hint that she was using ‘genetic manipulation', the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

So, what is the truth behind Ye's phenomenal performances?

According to Nanfang Daily, Ye's immaculate action, which is the result of painstaking scientific adjustments, led to her success, along with her natural physical gifts, including big hands and big feet, which are advantageous for a swimmer. Examples of male swimmers with large feet include Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe.

However, Ye used to be handicapped by her movements, especially by the fact that she couldn't stop moving her head while swimming. Scientists discovered that this anomaly significantly affected her performance in the pool.

In order to improve her action, a research team joined Ye every day to observe her training sessions. The team assessed her exercise intensity and her movements to find ways in which she could improve her performance. They then discussed their findings with her coach, who then adjusted her training accordingly.

At first, Ye struggled with the changes, but, after gradually adapting to the new regime, she found that her speed had substantially increased.

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