Well, there is no shortage of drama in Olympic fencing this year. In the semifinals of the women’s individual epee, Korean A Lam Shin thought she had reached the final and assured herself at least a silver medal. After all, there was just 1 second left in overtime and German Britta Heidemann needed a touch to win the match. Otherwise, Shin would be on to the final.
The final second of the match seemed to last quite a while. There were three simultaneous touches during that second, which meant that the touches canceled each other out and the match would continue. Then, somehow, Heidemann managed to get a clean touch.
Korean coaches immediately appealed to the officials, wondering how that last second could have lasted so long. After a lengthy review of over 20 minutes, the officials upheld the decision and Heidemann was declared the winner.
So you would think that that is the end of it, right? Wrong, apparently. Shin refuses to leave the piste. Now, this is not quite just a show of defiance. By rule, leaving the piste would mean that she accepts the officials’ decision. Which she obviously doesn’t. So she will sit there, as long as it takes, while her team can try to appeal some more. At the time of writing this, it has been over a half hour since the end of the first 20+ minute break. I will update this post when a final (an actual final) decision is reached.
UPDATE (3:07 PM EST): After nearly an hour sitting on the piste, it appears that the official appeal has (quite surprisingly) been denied. Shin is being escorted from the piste. Since this was a semifinal, she cans still compete for the bronze.
CORRECTION (3:12 PM EST): Shin was escorted off the piste at around 3 PM Eastern and it was assumed that the appeal had been denied. However, according to nbcolympics.com, there has not yet been any official word on the status of the match.
FINAL UPDATE (3:23 PM EST): Shin’s appeal was apparently denied as she is currently competing in (and leading) the bronze-medal match.