Sport: Horton-Sun feud takes ugly turn on social media - PressFrom - Australia

SportHorton-Sun feud takes ugly turn on social media

15:55  22 july  2019
15:55  22 july  2019 Source:

China's Sun wins record 4th straight 400 free at worlds

China's Sun wins record 4th straight 400 free at worlds China's Sun Yang won a record fourth consecutive 400-meter freestyle title in the first final of the world swimming championships, with rival Mack Horton of Australia rallying to finish second. Sun worked his way from fifth to first and then easily kept Horton at bay over the last lap Sunday night. Sun touched first in 3 minutes, 42.44 seconds. Horton took silver in 2:43.17, while Gabriele Detti of Italy earned bronze in 3:43.23. The Chinese star won his other 400 free titles in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Sun's presence at the world meet has drawn the ire of some swimmers, including Horton.

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The rivalry between Mack Horton and Sun Yang has taken an ugly turn with fans of the Chinese swimmer abusing the Australian on his Instagram account.

Horton, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Sun, caused a furore after he refused to stand on the podium along with the Chinese star after losing out on the gold metal in the 400m by 0.73 seconds.

After Sun accused Horton of "disrespecting China" with his actions, the Australian's Instagram account was hit with a barrage of vile comments from Sun's fans.

The comments have ranged from personal insults, to issuing serious threats to both he and his girlfriend.

Mack Horton's world championship protest divides opinion

Mack Horton's world championship protest divides opinion Do you support him?

Sun pipped Horton to claim gold in the 400m freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea on Sunday. Horton won gold in Rio, but Sun has otherwise dominated the event in recent years - his win on Sunday in Gwangju is his fourth consecutive world title.

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Horton-Sun feud takes ugly turn on social media© AAP Mack Horton refused to share the podium with Sun Yang after the 400m race

Comments insulting Horton have seen him labelled a "fat Aussie pig", "pathetic loser" and "disgusting".

However, the most disturbing comments have seen fans attack his family, ranging from "I'll break your tombstone tonight and dance on your grave" and "your mother's dead".

Unfortunately, Horton's long-term girlfriend Ella Walter has also been involved in the ugly taunts, with a photo of the pair hit with vile comments of a sexual nature.

While Horton's actions may have been slammed in China, he was met with a standing ovation upon his return to the athletes village.

According to American breaststroke champion Lilly King, Horton was greeted with an applause from his fellow competitors.

"We were kind of waiting around for that awards ceremony to see what was going to happen and yea it was awesome," the two-time Olympic gold medallist said.

"When we walked into the dining hall, he walked in after us and like the whole dining hall erupted in applause so it was pretty great to see the athletes united on his stance and supporting him as well.

"I don't think anyone at FINA's going to stand up for the athletes so the athletes have to stand up for themselves."

Jack supports Horton protest '100 per cent', says her manager.
"Shayna supports Mack and his personal stance," her manager Phil Stoneman said.  “She 100 per cent supports him. "And her rationale for not coming out earlier was, from her point of view, nothing to do with covering up, but giving the attention back to the Australian athletes, her teammates, that were representing her country.” Banned substance Ligandrol – a drug known for its bulking and cutting properties, and often used by bodybuilders – has been found in Jack’s system. The 20-year-old is adamant she has no idea how she got in contact with the drug.

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