Tokyo Olympics: China hits out at western media over Reuters' 'ugly' weightlifting photos

China has lashed out at 'western media' accusing them of deliberately taking 'ugly' photos of one of its star athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. 

It comes after the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka took issue with a photo of gold medal winning weightlifter Hou Zhihui.

The photo in question shows Hou visibly straining while mid-lift and was the preview of a Reuters article about her win. 

"Among all the photos of the game, @Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are. 

"Don't put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an unbiased media organization. Shameless. Respect the spirit of #Olympics," the embassy tweeted.  

The view was shared by state-run media outlet The Global Times which published an article on Sunday accusing Reuters of "unfairly targeting" China in its Olympic coverage.

The outlet also claimed the image angered Chineses citizens who widely viewed it as "disrespectful". 

The embassy's tweet was met with mixed reviews with some people agreeing the photo choice was unacceptable, while others said it was a "good action shot". 

"I think it's a well captured photograph, which shows nothing good in life comes easy. It's up to the person viewing the picture to interpret it, but most will appreciate this. It's quite sad that the embassy finds this "ugly." If it was a beauty pageant then it's a different matter (sic)," one person said. 

"In my opinion, this is one of the best action photograph (sic)," another said.

Hou won the gold medal in women's 49-kg weightlifting on Saturday. 

She also broke the Olympic record in all three categories of snatch, clean and jerk, with a total of 210 kg - three kilos short of her own world record.

India's only athlete in weightlifting Mirabai Chanu took home the silver medal and Indonesian lifter Windy Cantika Aisah clinched the bronze medal.