• London 2012 - Fencing

Tearful Korean fencer stages sit-in protest at Olympics

ESPN staff
July 30, 2012

South Korean fencer Shin Lam sobbed as she held a 75-minute protest after being denied a place in the final of the epee at London 2012.

Shin thought she had guaranteed herself at least a silver by winning her semi against Germany's Britta Heidemann - but the clock, which had apparently run down, suddenly changed from zero to one second remaining. And when the action resumed, Heidemann landed a decisive hit to take victory.

The Korean coach furiously launched an appeal against the decision to let the fight continue after the clock controversy, and it was half an hour before the crowd were told Heidemann's victory was to stand.

Shin broke down in tears and remained on the piste in order to validate her appeal: if she left, it would have been deemed an acceptance of defeat. She was escorted off 75 minutes later.

She was back in action a few minutes later for the bronze contest, which she lost to world No. 1 Sun Yujie.

Shin said: "I think it's unfair. The one second was over - I should have won. The hour was really difficult, but I thought if I got a yellow card [for leaving the piste] I might not be able to fight for bronze. I'm very sorry for the spectators. They spent a lot of money and I just don't understand how this could have happened."

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