Geo Sport Olympics: Tearful fencer gets consolation medal
LONDON: The South Korean fencer who staged a tearful, hour-long sit-in protest over Olympic judging will receive a consolation medal recognising her sportsmanship, the sport's world body said Tuesday.
The International Fencing Federation (FIE) said Shin A-Lam would be given a special medal for her "aspiration to win and respect for the rules" out of respect for her feelings.
"Of course, we understand the frustration and feelings of the athlete. That's why we decided to give this award," a spokeswoman told AFP.
In amazing scenes Shin, sobbing and shaking her head, refused to leave the piste for more than an hour after Monday's epee semi-final defeat to Germany's Britta Heidemann.
The two had been locked at 5-5 inside the extra minute period. The German then scored the winning hit, but the Korean coach claimed the assault came after the last second on the clock was up.
However, South Korea's appeals failed and Shin was eventually persuaded to leave the piste. Shortly afterwards, she lost the bronze-medal match against China's Sun Hujie.
Park Yong-Sung, president of South Korea's National Olympic Committee, said the FIE offered the medal after acknowledging a possible problem with timekeeping at the event.
But the fencing body said Shin's defeat was entirely legitimate.
"The decision was according to the rules and FIE regulations, and it was clear," the spokeswoman said.