It didn't take long for Australian media to fire back after Chinese media labelled Aussies "uncivilised".
State-linked Chinese newspaper The Global Times weighed into the escalating stoush started when Aussie swimmer Mack Horton called China's Sun Yang a drug cheat, saying in an open editorial that "no one should be surprised at uncivilised acts emanating from the country".
The paper also lashed out at the Australian media for carrying Horton's "immoral" disruption. "We don't know if it is Horton who is silly or it's the Australian media that is evil, or perhaps Australia just has a different moral standard," it said.
News.com jumped off the high board in retaliation, centering on Sun's teeth. "You know what, China?" it said. "All bets are off since you decided to call us an 'uncivilised ex-prison'. If you want to take cheap pot shots, then expect the same in return. You've only got yourself to blame."
They pointed to the social media coverage of Sun's "chompers", with a few of the examples laid out below.
sun yang looks like a descendent of the Sharks with those teeth pic.twitter.com/7yMvG8nEvG— Kasey Donahue (@kaseydonahue) August 9, 2016
I cannot handle Sun Yang's teeth! Like congrats on being a good swimmer but damn pic.twitter.com/a6mUO3OkCM— Jessica Lütz ❁ (@CutezieLutzie) August 9, 2016
Trying to put my finger on what Sun Yang's teeth remind me of... pic.twitter.com/9wHebNJMbP— Chris Barttelbort (@cbartt11) August 9, 2016
Fomer New Zealand Olympian Moss Burmester, who campaigned before the Games started for medal winners to stand down from the podium when receiving medals in protest at Russian athletes competing in Rio, also weighed into the Sun debate when he tweeted:
Not only is #SunYang a cheat, his behaviour also shows that he is an A hole— moss burmester (@mossburmester) August 9, 2016