ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
» Olympics 2012
Publication Date : 14-08-2012
Teenage Chinese star ready to move on from London disappointment
"I am not a machine or robot, but I will come back stronger," Qiu Bo declared.
Smiling and full of confidence, the Chinese diving prodigy summoned up his inner reserves of strength after losing the men's 10-metre platform at the London Games.
He is patently not cold or frozen, and hates to be called "Machine" or "Robot".
"If I was a robot, I could win full marks in every dive. They would have no chance to beat me," said the 19-year-old, who finished with silver behind David Boudia of the United States.
British sensation Thomas Daley grabbed the bronze.
Speaking during his visit to Omega House as one of the brand's global ambassadors, Qiu was impressed by his main two rivals' "remarkable" performances, but he was unhappy with Daley's pre-Olympic comment that stated: "Qiu is like a robot".
He also attacked reporters who echoed Daley's thoughts.
"This is a pure misunderstanding about us [Chinese divers]," he said. "We are not like what the foreign media say. We also have to have academic lessons apart from daily training. We have our lives. We also have to eat and sleep. We go out shopping and have fun. Everyone is the same as those foreign athletes."
Coming into the final as the favourite, Qiu made some fine dives but was far from perfect.
During the weekend, it was Doudia who performed more like a robot as he performed some flawless routines before clinching the gold.
The 2011 world champion Qiu, who is labelled as "Mr. Full Mark", he only performed to 80 per cent of his ability in London.
"I'm sorry to let people down. I only played 80 per cent of my best. I would be great if I was a robot at that moment," he said with a smile.
China won six gold medals in London, at first losing the men's 3-metre springboard to spoil its bid for a sweep of the eight gold medals, and then coming up short in the last diving event at the Games.
After failing to win gold at his debut Olympics, Qiu rested his head against the wall behind the diving boards, but he refused to cry.
"I did not think it was the worst moment of my career," he said.
"It is just part of life. You win and you lose. It's OK. I rested against the wall right after the scoreboard showed the result because I needed some time to calm myself down."
Still young and energetic, Qiu is looking forward to the Rio Olympics - and even beyond.
"I will try to improve my difficulty and get mentally stronger. I will not let [the sport] go if I compete at the 2016 Games," he said.
"I like the fierce competitiveness in the 10-metre platform. It's more thrilling to win a tight match, isn't it?"