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China's teen girl sensation leaves the guys in the shade

FORGET betting rows, empty seats and James Bond -- the big story from the Olympics has been the Chinese teenage girl who is faster than the fastest man.

The remarkable Chinese domination in swimming, and 16-year old Ye Shiwen's performance in covering her final 50m quicker than US superstar Ryan Lochte, has baffled the watching world.

Lochte, who took gold in the 400m individual medley on Saturday as Michael Phelps's challenge never materialised, was so impressed with the performance of Ye Shiwen as she smashed the world record in the women's event.

The American -- who disappointed in the final leg of the Freestyle Relay last night, with France beating them to the gold-- said that Ye might even have beaten him if the pair raced.

"We were talking about that at dinner," said Lochte. "It is pretty impressive. She's fast -- if she was there with me she might have beat me." And while Ye has defied the odds, the other big story to emerge from the pool also surrounds another Chinese swimmer, who could rival Lochte and Phelps for man of the meet.

Sun Yang won China's first ever men's gold in the pool with startling ease on Saturday night. Tomorrow night he is set to face Lochte in the final of the 200m freestyle in what will be one of the races of the week. And then comes the 1500m, on the final night, Yang's banker gold medal -- he is the world record holder. The Chinese do not have the depth to match the Americans and the Australians in the relays, but three gold medals are a real possibility for the ultra-confident Yang.

In the heats for the 200m free Lochte and Yang played cat and mouse with each other -- by the end of each length the 20-year-old from Zhejiang province was edging ahead, but then Lochte would pull him in on the turn and emerge in front. The two prowled down the final 50m keeping a wary eye on each other with the 6ft 6in Yang snaking out a long arm to take it on the touch.

The Chinese performances in the pool have already raised question marks about the performance of the team, whom in the past declared dramatic improvements in performance were down to drinking turtle blood and eating strange fungi.

ENDS