Chinese embassy blasts 'ugly' Reuters for using 'shameless' photo of gold medallist

Chinese diplomats and media are upset with Reuters over an unflattering cover photo of weightlifting gold medallist Zhihui Hou.

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka denounced the “ugly” news outlet’s picture after Reuters published the photo in a report on Hou’s gold medal win for China on July 24, claiming its use was politically motivated.

China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, also published a story accusing some Western media outlets of unfairly targeting China in their Olympic coverage.

The picture shows Hou with a strenuous expression while lifting the bar.

“Among all the photos of the game, Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are,” the Chinese embassy of Sri Lanka said in a tweet.

“Don't put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an unbiased media organization. Shameless.

“Respect the spirit of #Olympics."

Hou, 24, set Olympic records in the snatch and clean-and-jerk categories. She also set an Olympic record in the total, lifting 210 kilograms — three less than her world record — en route to a comfortable gold medal victory over India’s Mirabai Chanu and Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah in the women’s 49-kilogram event.

That gold medal is currently on the line as authorities have reportedly asked Hou to stay in Tokyo longer to undergo anti-doping testing. A failed test would award the gold medal to silver medallist Chanu.

Chanu, a 2017 world champion, slightly trailed Hou with a 202-kilogram total in the competition.