Olympics 2012: Fencing Controversy Costs South Korea Medal

The Olympic fencing tournament was thrown into an incredibly emotional, dramatic and elongated controversy when a semifinal bout of the women’s individual epee competition was won on a final touch with 1 second remaining and the losing fencer launched an appeal of the decision which eventually cost her a place on the podium.

With time running out in one of the two semifinal matches for the women’s individual epee competition, South Korea’s Shin A Lam led Germany’s Britta Heidermann by a single point. Officially, Heidermann had just one second to launch an attack and score a touch, which would advance her on to the gold medal match to face the Ukraine’s Yana Shemyakina, a lack of time which all but ensured that Shin would advance.

Instead, the timing mechanism on the piste became stuck, giving Heidermann extra time to complete her attack and win the bout, which earned her the spot in the gold medal bout. Officials, unsure what to do without a true, official protocol to follow, eventually decided to award the victory to Heidermann.


As one might expect, Shin and her coaches were enraged with the decision, and launched an immediate appeal. Yet the appeal itself proved to be incredibly lengthy and also contained a unique bylaw that required Shin to remain on the piste throughout its duration. At long last, after more than 30 minutes of a delay that included the Korean federation having to expedite a payment for the use in the official appeal, Shin’s attempt to overturn the result failed.

Clearly, Shin should have had a chance for the gold medal; if the timing mechanism didn’t get stuck, the clock would have run out and she would have advanced. Yet denying Heidermann a shot without some kind of a playoff-style bout might have been equally cruel. Either way, the fencing tournament somehow ended up with an unfortunate and completely unforeseen loser which will lead to plenty of gripes and arguments going forward from multiple national federations, to be sure.

What is your opinion about the controversial ruling on this fencing bout? Who was the real winner in that round — South Korea or Germany?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Zimbio

Blagojevich Faces 14 Years Behind Bars

Rod Blagojevich, the ousted Illinois governor whose three-year battle against criminal charges became a national spectacle, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday, one of the stiffest penalties imposed for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics.

Blagojevich’s 18 convictions included allegations of trying to leverage his power to appoint someone to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat to raise campaign cash or land a high-paying job. Blagojevich had told the judge that he made “terrible mistakes” and acknowledged that he broke the law when he tried to sell an appointment to the Senate seat.

Blagojevich’s attorneys admitted for the first time Tuesday that he is guilty of corruption and accepts the verdicts against him, but said the sentence of 15 to 20 years prosecutors wanted was too harsh. The defense also presented heartfelt appeals from Blagojevich’s family, including letters from his wife Patti and one of his two daughters that pleaded for mercy.

But the judge made it clear early in the hearing that he believed that Blagojevich had lied on the witness stand when he tried to explain his scheming for the Senate seat, and he did not believe defense suggestions that the former governor was duped by his advisers.

While Blagojevich will likely end up at a minimal security prison, he’ll be largely cut off from the outside world. Visits by family are strictly limited, Blagojevich will have to share a cell with other inmates and he must work an eight-hour-a-day menial job — possibly scrubbing toilets or mopping floors — at just 12 cents an hour.

 

Source: FoxNews.com

Image: ibtimes.com