Friday, August 3, 2012

Time's up. Unless it isn't, and you're an Olympic Epee Fencer

I used to fence competitively and taught the sport previously; so my attention was caught by a recent controversy in the Olympic results of the women's epee fencing bout between S. Korea and Germany. My analysis - in this case the judge who was responsible for the clock did not notice the error and halt the match; Shin did notice the timing error and was anticipating that the judge should call a halt. Heidemann saw her anticipation, realized that a halt had not in fact been called, and launched a beat attack. This beat attack is a Fencing 101 kind of move - not something you'd normally see a lot of in Olympic level fencing, and definitely something unexpected by an opponent. Thus she scored. I feel badly for Shin but you have to play the sport and not the clock or the judge.

Also, fencing desperately needs to modernize its timing & scoring equipment. Is there any other sport being timed only to the second?

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