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| Event type

Épée, Individual, Women

Date30 July 2012
StatusOlympic
LocationExCeL, Newham, London
Participants37 from 21 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament.

The seedings expected the event to deliver an all-Chinese final. This would be a repeat of the 2011 World Championship final where teenager Sun Yujie had defeated her vastly more experienced teammate Li Na. Things did not go to plan although not perhaps in the wild, erratic manner of the men’s event. Li Na was despatched by Britta Heidemann in the round of 16 and when the dust settled only Sun of the top 10 seeds remained in contention at the semi-final stage.

The first semi-final saw a monumental upset when Yana Shemiakina fought a brilliant tactical fight to eliminate Sun Yujie but even this was overshadowed by the controversial finish to the other semi. Heidemann and Korea’s Sin A-Lam fought a low scoring, cagey bout which was tied at 5-all as time began to run out. What happened next is a source of great controversy and has never entirely been explained in its entirety. What appears to have happened is this; the two women score simultaneous hits which nullified each other’s score but brought the clock down to one second. They quickly attacked again and once more scored simultaneously but the clock did not move. In top level fencing the referee’s duties are separated from that of the timekeeper and the timekeeper presses a button to start the clock only after the call of “Allez!” from the referee. If the timekeeper is slow in pressing the button the electronic system can register a hit in a fraction of a section. At 0:01, Heidemann anticipates the call and begins her attack early, with another double hit as the result. There is only a tiny fraction of a second between the time starting when the timekeeper presses the button and stopping automatically when Heidemann’s point is depressed. As a result, the time still shows 0:01. The two restart and, amazingly, the same scenario occurs once more with a double hit and no time taken off the clock. What now seems to happen is that the timekeeper mistakenly restarts the clock and time runs out. Since the clock has been running without the two fencers in action it is obvious that an error has occurred so the referee orders the countdown clock to be reset to 0:01. Heidemann is again quick off the mark but this time she clearly scores a hit and seemingly earns her place in the final. As a distraught Sin begins sobbing the Korean coach quickly launches an appeal against the decision. After viewing television replays the decision is upheld but the Korean coach orders Sin to stay on the platform until a further appeal to the FIE is considered. Sin waits for an hour before being gently escorted away when the second appeal is also rejected

The written appeal read as follows (sic):

“Dear DT Members, I can’t agree the decision of the referee, because it rested 1 second and there were 3 times coup double and the time always rests 1 second and they fixed time because the time passed and 1 second rest. German fencer attempt by fente and remise but one second rests still. It can’t be possible during 1 second 4 actions. Who can believe this situation? I want fix this situation calculating time. Korean team cannot accept this situation.”

Sin would later face more heartbreak when she lost the bronze medal bout against Sun. After the drama of the semi-finals the gold medal decider between Yana Shemiakina and Britta Heidemann could well have been an anti-climax. Indeed when the first period was ended prematurely by the referee because of the lack of combativity shown by the two finalists it seemed to be heading that way. Thankfully the action soon heated up with the score at the end of the final period tied with 8 points apiece. Heidemann played the aggressor in the extra time but, after two double hits, she missed with an attempted fleche and was wide open to a counter from the Ukrainian who took advantage to win gold.

PosSeedCompetitorNOC
112Yana ShemiakinaUKRGold
215Britta HeidemannGERSilver
31Sun YujieCHNBronze
411Sin A-RamKOR
=58Rossella FiamingoITA
=54Simona GhermanROU
=53Anca MăroiuROU
=526Sarra BesbesTUN
=917Tiffany GéroudetSUI
=929Maya LawrenceUSA
=95Ana Maria BrânzăROU
=913Laura Flessel-ColovicFRA
=919Anna SivkovaRUS
=96Monika SozanskaGER
=910Choi In-JeongKOR
=92Li NaCHN
=1733Imke DuplitzerGER
=1716Magdalena PiekarskaPOL
=179Mara NavarriaITA
=1725Nozomi SatoJPN
=1737Hsu Jo-TingTPE
=1721Lyubov ShutovaRUS
=1720Courtney HurleyUSA
=1724Corinna LawrenceGBR
=1735Olena KryvytskaUKR
=1714Jeong Hyo-JeongKOR
=1722Sherraine Schalm-MacKayCAN
=1727Violetta KolobovaRUS
=177Luo XiaojuanCHN
=1723Emese Szász-KovácsHUN
=1718Bianca Del CarrettoITA
=1734Kseniya PanteleievaUKR
=3332María MartínezVEN
=3328Mona AbdulazizEGY
=3336Cáterin BravoCHI
=3330Susie ScanlanUSA
=3331Yeung Chui LingHKG

Round One

Date30 July 2012
FormatWinner of each match advanced to round two.
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #130 JulSun Yujie (1)CHNbye
Bout #230 Jul 10:30Imke Duplitzer (33)GER15 – 10María Martínez (32)VEN
Bout #330 JulTiffany Géroudet (17)SUIbye
Bout #430 JulMagdalena Piekarska (16)POLbye
Bout #530 JulMaya Lawrence (29)USAbye
Bout #630 JulMara Navarria (9)ITAbye
Bout #730 JulRossella Fiamingo (8)ITAbye
Bout #830 JulNozomi Sato (25)JPNbye
Bout #930 JulAna Maria Brânză (5)ROUbye
Bout #1030 Jul 10:30Hsu Jo-Ting (37)TPE15 – 10Mona Abdulaziz (28)EGY
Bout #1130 JulYana Shemiakina (12)UKRbye
Bout #1230 JulLyubov Shutova (21)RUSbye
Bout #1330 JulLaura Flessel-Colovic (13)FRAbye
Bout #1430 JulCourtney Hurley (20)USAbye
Bout #1530 Jul 11:00Corinna Lawrence (24)GBR15 – 12Cáterin Bravo (36)CHI
Bout #1630 JulSimona Gherman (4)ROUbye
Bout #1730 JulAnca Măroiu (3)ROUbye
Bout #1830 Jul 10:30Olena Kryvytska (35)UKR15 – 13Susie Scanlan (30)USA
Bout #1930 JulAnna Sivkova (19)RUSbye
Bout #2030 JulJeong Hyo-Jeong (14)KORbye
Bout #2130 JulSin A-Ram (11)KORbye
Bout #2230 JulSherraine Schalm-MacKay (22)CANbye
Bout #2330 JulMonika Sozanska (6)GERbye
Bout #2430 JulVioletta Kolobova (27)RUSbye
Bout #2530 JulSarra Besbes (26)TUNbye
Bout #2630 JulLuo Xiaojuan (7)CHNbye
Bout #2730 JulChoi In-Jeong (10)KORbye
Bout #2830 JulEmese Szász-Kovács (23)HUNbye
Bout #2930 JulBritta Heidemann (15)GERbye
Bout #3030 JulBianca Del Carretto (18)ITAbye
Bout #3130 Jul 10:30Kseniya Panteleieva (34)UKR15 – 11Yeung Chui Ling (31)HKG
Bout #3230 JulLi Na (2)CHNbye

Round Two

Date30 July 2012
FormatWinner of each match advanced to round three.
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #130 Jul 11:50Sun Yujie (1)CHN15 – 10Imke Duplitzer (33)GER
Bout #230 Jul 12:20Tiffany Géroudet (17)SUI15 – 14Magdalena Piekarska (16)POL
Bout #330 Jul 12:50Maya Lawrence (29)USA15 – 12Mara Navarria (9)ITA
Bout #430 Jul 13:20Rossella Fiamingo (8)ITA15 – 11Nozomi Sato (25)JPN
Bout #530 Jul 11:50Ana Maria Brânză (5)ROU15 – 8Hsu Jo-Ting (37)TPE
Bout #630 Jul 12:20Yana Shemiakina (12)UKR15 – 12Lyubov Shutova (21)RUS
Bout #730 Jul 12:50Laura Flessel-Colovic (13)FRA15 – 12Courtney Hurley (20)USA
Bout #830 Jul 13:20Simona Gherman (4)ROU15 – 9Corinna Lawrence (24)GBR
Bout #930 Jul 11:50Anca Măroiu (3)ROU15 – 10Olena Kryvytska (35)UKR
Bout #1030 Jul 12:20Anna Sivkova (19)RUS15 – 12Jeong Hyo-Jeong (14)KOR
Bout #1130 Jul 12:50Sin A-Ram (11)KOR15 – 12Sherraine Schalm-MacKay (22)CAN
Bout #1230 Jul 13:20Monika Sozanska (6)GER15 – 14Violetta Kolobova (27)RUS
Bout #1330 Jul 11:50Sarra Besbes (26)TUN15 – 9Luo Xiaojuan (7)CHN
Bout #1430 Jul 12:20Choi In-Jeong (10)KOR15 – 12Emese Szász-Kovács (23)HUN
Bout #1530 Jul 12:50Britta Heidemann (15)GER14 – 13Bianca Del Carretto (18)ITA
Bout #1630 Jul 13:20Li Na (2)CHN15 – 10Kseniya Panteleieva (34)UKR

Round Three

Date30 July 2012
FormatWinner of each match advanced to quarter-finals.
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #130 Jul 14:10Sun Yujie (1)CHN15 – 10Tiffany Géroudet (17)SUI
Bout #230 Jul 14:40Rossella Fiamingo (8)ITA15 – 7Maya Lawrence (29)USA
Bout #330 Jul 14:10Yana Shemiakina (12)UKR14 – 13Ana Maria Brânză (5)ROU
Bout #430 Jul 14:40Simona Gherman (4)ROU15 – 13Laura Flessel-Colovic (13)FRA
Bout #530 Jul 14:10Anca Măroiu (3)ROU15 – 11Anna Sivkova (19)RUS
Bout #630 Jul 14:40Sin A-Ram (11)KOR14 – 9Monika Sozanska (6)GER
Bout #730 Jul 14:10Sarra Besbes (26)TUN12 – 11Choi In-Jeong (10)KOR
Bout #830 Jul 14:40Britta Heidemann (15)GER14 – 13Li Na (2)CHN

Quarter-Finals

Date30 July 2012
FormatWinner of each match advanced to semi-finals.
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #130 Jul 15:30Sun Yujie (1)CHN15 – 14Rossella Fiamingo (8)ITA
Bout #230 Jul 15:30Yana Shemiakina (12)UKR15 – 14Simona Gherman (4)ROU
Bout #330 Jul 15:30Sin A-Ram (11)KOR15 – 14Anca Măroiu (3)ROU
Bout #430 Jul 15:30Britta Heidemann (15)GER15 – 12Sarra Besbes (26)TUN

Semi-Finals

Date30 July 2012
FormatWinner of each match advanced to final pool.
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #130 Jul 18:00Yana Shemiakina (12)UKR14 – 13Sun Yujie (1)CHN
Bout #230 Jul 18:30Britta Heidemann (15)GER6 – 5Sin A-Ram (11)KOR

Final Round

Date30 July 2012
MatchDate/TimeCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout 1/230 Jul 20:40Yana Shemiakina (12)UKR9 – 8Britta Heidemann (15)GER
Bout 3/430 Jul 20:10Sun Yujie (1)CHN15 – 11Sin A-Ram (11)KOR