Olympic Moment: South Korean Fencer Breaks Down After Controversial Semifinal Finish
A Lam Shin
Ukranian fencer Yama Shemayakin won the Olympic epee gold Monday, but all eyes were on South Korea's Shin A Lam and her controversial — and tear-filled — semifinal match.
In a contentious finish that harkened back to the 1972 U.S.-Soviet Union gold medal basketball game, Shin was leading Germany's Britta Heidemann, the defending champion, and seemed on her way to the final with one second remaining. But the clock got stuck, allowing Heidemann extra time to get touches on Shin before the clock finally struck zero.
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After 25 minutes of deliberation, officials awarded the final berth to Heidemann, causing Shin to break down into tears on the piste while the South Korean team filed a protest. Shin, 25, sobbed uncontrollably for almost 15 minutes, never leaving the piste because that would signify her accepting the judges' decision. More than 30 minutes later, officials rejected Shin's appeal and the fencer, heartbroken and still crying, had to be escorted off the piste as the crowd loudly booed the officials.
Adding insult to injury, Shin was forced to return 15 minutes later to compete in the bronze medal match, which she lost to China's Sun Yujie.
Click here to watch the drama unfold.