It's not limited to the Mail, but I've been picking up on the gender angle in this row over Ye Shiwen and her remarkable performance in the individual medley. Shock and suspicion are centring around the fact that the final leg
The US coach who went public with his scepticism used the same line of argument, questioning whether a mere lady:
could outpace one of the fastest male swimmers in the world
The coach (and, of course, the media, led by the Daily Mail) has referred to Ye as 'Supergirl' and added:
‘Any time someone has looked like Superwoman in the history of our sport they have later been found guilty of doping.’
I don't have an opinion about whether Ye's performance was drug-enhanced, nor about whether the coach should have gone public with his doubts. However, I do object to the notion that what's most implausible about Ye's swim is that she swam a length slightly faster than the men. It's tiresome when female athletes' achievements are reflexively matched against men's; by extension whenever a woman matches the men's achievement, it must mean she's not really a woman (Caster Semenya) or she's been on the sauce. It's yet another way not to respect women's sport.