Olympics: Australian website's 'weird, offensive' coverage of Chinese teen diver blasted by China

China's Quan Hongchan won gold in the women's 10m platform diving at the Tokyo Olympics on Aug 5.
PHOTO: Reuters

Chinese state media has criticised an Australian news outlet over its coverage of 14-year-old Tokyo Olympics gold medallist diver Quan Hongchan.

The English-language Global Times newspaper took aim at conservative website News.com.au, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, for "weird, offensive words" that "defamed" Quan.

China's youngest athlete at the Games won gold in the individual 10-metre platform final on Thursday, blowing away the competition with three perfect 10s for a stunning overall score of 466.20.

The Global Times, which comes under the state-run People's Daily newspaper group, also blasted the Australian website for writing that Quan "remained entirely pokerfaced [and] did not crack even the slimmest of smiles", that "viewers were shocked at Quan's reaction", and that she "looked devastated after being given a perfect score".

This "was obviously not the case and, in a lack of basic human touch, tried to describe this young gold medallist as an odd, taciturn teenager," the Global Times wrote.

The newspaper reported that Chinese netizens had expressed their fury at the Australian online outlet's portrayal of Quan and "for slandering Chinese athletes with misinformation and bias".

The Global Times also reported "observers" as saying "defaming Chinese people is a customary tactic of some racist Western media outlets, which like to describe Chinese as either 'mobsters' or soulless 'machines'".

The Beijing-based newspaper also criticised The New York Times for an earlier article headlined "The Chinese Sports Machine's Single Goal: The Most Gold, at Any Cost" for "slandering China and its people with demonised labels".

China’s gold medal-winning track cyclists Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi pose with badges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned to their tracksuits. 
PHOTO: Reuters

The Global Times has deleted posts from its social media platforms referring to two of the country's gold medal-winning track cyclists wearing pin badges of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong.

The IOC has asked the Chinese team for a report on why Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi displayed the badges on their tracksuits during Monday's medal ceremony, in a potential breach of Olympic rules regarding displaying political paraphernalia.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.