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15 Year Old Time Keeper Ruins Shin A Lam’s Attempt at a Gold Medal

Shin A Lam - Photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

In less than a second, Shin A Lam’s shot at winning a gold medal in women’s fencing was spoiled by a 15 year old British volunteer. 

Shin A Lam of South Korea led the match against Britta Heidemann of Germany with one second left on the clock. All she had to do to advance to the gold match was not get touched in that one second. The referee signaled to restart the match, but the 15 year old time keeper failed to start the clock, giving Heidemann more time to land the winning touch.

Shin remained on the playing surface as the South Korean team pushed for an appeal of the decision. While sitting in protest for more then half an hour, Shin spent most of the time in tears. Ultimately, the appeal was denied and she had to be removed by security.

Shin would go on to fence in the bronze medal match, and obviously sill upset, she ended up losing to China’s Yujie Sun. It was a very sad moment in this year’s Olympics which slipped through the cracks.

Since the controversial match last Monday, the FIE (Federation International d’Escrime) have since stated that they will award Shin with a special medal.  The exact details of when the medal will be presented have not yet been worked out, but it will have the inscription “For aspiration to win and respect of the rules.”


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