The fencing competition came to a halt yesterday after South Korea fencer Shin A-Lam sat weeping on the piste for over an hour after a controversial ruling in the semi-final. As the father of a couple fencers, I was not surprised by the controversy but I was surprised by one of the reasons for the delay — a lack of cash.
The 25-year-old epee fencer thought the bout was over when the clock was reset with one second on the clock. Shin refused to leave the piste after her opponent, Germany’s Britta Heidemann, was given a point for a touch that the Koreans insisted occurred after after the final second was up. The two were locked in a 5-5 tie and the touch gave the match to Heidemann. The Korean coach went ballistic but was overruled in his objection after more than 20 minutes of discussion.
Shin shocked many by refusing to leave the piste but her coaches were trying to file a challenge at the time.
However the greatest surprise was the appellate rules for such competitions. The rest of the delay was caused by the fact that in order to lodge an official protest, “a sum of money had to be deposited with the judging commission.” It took almost an hour for the Koreans to come up with the scratch to lodge a protest.
Why on Earth does a protest require the actual transfer of money in the Olympics? I am pretty sure the South Koreans are good for the cash. It seems distinctly unOlympic to demand that a nation pony up the cash if they wanted to be heard.
What do you think?
Source: Daily Mail