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Sports

Heidemann wins silver after fencing controversy

Fencer Britta Heidemann has won silver in the women's individual epee, Germany's first medal of the London Olympics. Her loss to Ukraine's Yana Shemyakina in the final came after a controversial semifinal.

At the end of the three rounds of regulation, Heidemann was tied 8-8 with Shemyankina. One minute of extra time was added on, and Shemyankina scored first - securing the win over Heidemann, who won gold in Beijing four years ago.

Heidemann advanced to the final after a controversial win over South Korea's Shin A-Lam in the semifinal, which also went to extra time.

Per the rules of fencing, one fencer is randomly selected to have the advantage going into one minute of extra time. Shin got the lucky end of the stick, and would be the winner if there was no point scored between either competitor.

Several double hits were recorded in the final minute, which occur when both fencers register a hit at the same time. One second remained on the clock when Heidemann scored the decisive stroke and won the duel. But a long discussion among fencing officials ensued to decide if she had actually landed the final point within one second.

Protest denied

After a 26-minute delay, the referee of the match declared Heidemann the winner. A heartbroken Shin sunk to the floor of the arena as Heidemann celebrated and quickly retreated to the locker room.

South Korea's Shin A-lam reacts after a women's individual epee fencing semifinals match against Germany's Britta Heidemann at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 30, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Shin remained on the piste for over an hour

Shin's coach appealed the decision and she remained on the fencing piste for over an hour. If she left, it would have indicated her acceptance of the judges' decision. When the protest was rejected, Shin was persuaded by officials to leave the piste.

She was given a standing ovation by the crowd. Shortly after, Shin lost the bronze medal match against China's Sun Yujie.

No medals for Biedermann

Meanwhile, German swimmer Paul Biedermann missed his last shot at an individual medal in London, coming in fifth place in the 200 meter freestyle. France's Yannick Agnel ran away with the race for his second gold of the Olympics.

Biedermann has one more chance at a medal in Tuesday's 4x200 freestyle relay.

Germany's gymnastics team competed in the final of the team competition on Monday as well, but they finished outside the medals in seventh.

Author: Matt Zuvela
Editor: Spencer Kimball