London Olympic Women's Epee Semifinals

Shin a Lam vs Britta Heidemann (Germany)

The following is footage I tool for the Controversial match between:
Shin a Lam (Korea) vs Britta Heidemann (Germany)

Please note this was taken on a small compact camera with a zoom, so parts are shaky, but at least you can see how the events went down.

Text by Sam R. Quinn
The South Korean fencer was tied at five with the defending Olympic gold medalist (Germany's Britta Heidemann) when the clock struck zero. She would have been awarded the victory & chance to fight for the Gold, if she would of lasted in the sudden death round due to a "priority ruling," but that was not the case.

According to BBC, "referee Barbara Csar reset the time with one second left after Shin was guilty of an infringement..."

The judges then presumably followed protocol and adjusted the clock accordingly.

Per The Telegraph: "The countdown clock in the 25-year-old's contest against reigning Olympic gold medallist Britta Heidemann was reset from zero to one second with the scores tied on 5-5."

That seems reasonable enough, and well-warranted if Shin did indeed commit a violation that called for more time to be put on the clock.

What isn't reasonable is this next part (via The Washington Post): "It was during this third "second" that Heidemann scored the winning point, prompting the South Korean appeal."

In case you are having a hard to coming to a conclusion as to what happened, I offer you an explanation.

Shin allegedly committed a violation just before the buzzer. One second was added to the clock because of said violation. The match then restarted, but the clock stayed at one second. Heidemann took three swipes at Shin, the third of which connected as time expired to give her a buzzer-beating victory

Shin's camp appealed the ruling while the fencer sat in a heap of tears in front of the entire crowd.

My first, and most minor gripe, is that the violation that Shin was alleged to commit has not yet been revealed. It is skeptical at best, especially given that her competition was the defending gold medalist.

Secondly, the appeal absolutely should have been overturned because the clock froze. This shouldn't have been a tough call to make, seeing as the outcome was not affected by a judges ruling that could not be overturned, but rather a technical failure.

The most heinous crime committed by the International Fencing Federation and the International Olympic Committee can be seen in this next excerpt from a Telegraph report: "The crowd was then incredulous when just before 7.40pm - nearly an hour after the incident - that an announcer claimed that in the rules the Koreans had to lodge money for the appeal to be valid.

Jaw-dropping. Obscene. Inherently wrong. Those are just three things that come to mind upon reading that ludicrous rule. In an amateur competition, the Koreans needed to pay for their appeal to be officially considered.

We still don't know what the violation was. The clock froze. And the Koreans needed to put forth financial compensation for anybody to care about what they thought.

All of this was occurring while a visibly distraught Shin sat on the piste waiting for an answer. She was told that she couldn't leave the field of play, for if she did, it would have been seen as her accepting defeat.

ExCel Centre - Summer Olympics 2012