Summer Olympics 2012: Katie Ledecky's Performance Should Help Ye Shiwen's Case

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IAugust 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Shiwen Ye of China looks on after winning gold in the Women's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

After Katie Ledecky blitzed the 800-meter freestyle final and won in almost world-record fashion, two things popped up in my mind.

One, I was happy for the young American Olympian who, at the age of 15, was able to beat a rugged field, including former Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.

The race wasn't even close. Ledecky won by more than four seconds and was only 0.53 seconds away from tying Adlington's world and Olympic record.

The American swimmer won this race at the Olympic trials with a time of 8:19.78 seconds, eclipsing her second-place opponent by only two seconds.

Keep in mind, she won today's race at a time of 8:14.63 seconds. So, in the matter of a few weeks, Ledecky improved upon her time by over five seconds. 

Even though the 800 free is a longer race, five seconds is an extraordinary amount of time to cut. Add in the fact that she is only fifteen years old and it is even more absurd.

Does that mean she is doping?

Of course it doesn't. This is an American girl, who just performed her greatest race on the greatest of stages. She shot out from the start and just never looked back.

Ledecky is the perfect example of how teenagers can too realize their dreams of Olympic glory.

Wait a second. 

Weren't we jumping on the back of another teen Olympian earlier in the week when she put up amazing results?

Yeah, we were.

Ye Shiwen, a 16-year-old Chinese Olympian, has put on a show for the world at the London Olympics

Shiwen won both the 400 individual medley and the 200 individual medley in record-setting fashion. The 400 victory set a new world record, while the 200 set an Olympic record.

The Chinese swimmer has come under fire because of her results, with many proposing that she might have been doping.

Just to be clear, there is no evidence that Shiwen has used steroids in any major international competition. There is only speculation.

Yet, she has come under fire for her great results. Let's be clear here: Shiwen did not come out of absolutely nowhere.

She won the 200 individual medley at the World Championships in 2011 and was seen as one of the rising stars of China's Olympic team.

However, when Ledecky puts on a show and almost sets a world record by shedding five seconds off of her time at the Olympic trials, it is seen as achievement.

As a sports fan, I am appalled by this. It just shows the great contradictions that we exhibit as sports fans.

The fact of the matter is that younger swimmers have the ability to shave off a lot more time than older swimmers, as Ledecky and Shiwen have exhibited.

We are being inconsistent in our reasoning, and it is, quite frankly, wrong.

It really is a pity that Shiwen's career will be likely marred by doping allegations as she sets her sights on becoming one of the greatest swimmers ever.

Until I see any evidence that she doped, I am not going to believe any of the speculation. If anything, Katie Ledecky's win should help us realize that.