Shin A-lam (Korean: 신아람, Korean pronunciation: [ɕɾam] or [ɕin] [a.ɾam]; born 23 September 1986) is a South Korean épée fencer.[1]

Shin A-lam
Shin A-Lam Challenge International de Saint-Maur 2013.jpg
Shin at the Challenge International de Saint-Maur 2013
Personal information
Native name신아람
NationalitySouth Korean
Born (1986-09-23) 23 September 1986 (age 33)
Geumsan, South Korea
CountrySouth Korea
Achievements and titles
Olympic finalsSilver (Team épée, 2012)
4th (Épée, 2012)



2012 Summer OlympicsEdit

She competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women's épée in both the individual and team event.

In the semifinals of women's individual épée, she controversially lost to German Britta Heidemann after a timekeeping error extended bout time. The situation arose at the end of the one-minute overtime (sudden death) with the match tied 5-5. Without the extension, Shin would have won the tied bout on the basis of priority (the status is randomly awarded to one fencer prior to the overtime period, as accorded by the rules).

With one whole second showing on the official clock, Heidemann made two rapid attacks in succession both halted by double-touches. Despite this the clock in the arena continued to show "00:01" (because it could not display decimal fractions of a second). The referee then called "halt" to the bout. At this point, the timekeeper (a Games Volunteer) restarted the clock inadvertently expiring all the remaining time, reportedly 0.02 seconds.[2] This action caused the arena clock to show "00:00" giving Shin reason to celebrate. However the error was noted and since an overtime minute had to be fenced in its entirety, the referee applied FIE rule t.32-3, which states that in the event of a failure of the clock or an error by the timekeeper, the referee must estimate how much time is left.[3] The timekeeper, with the referee's permission, reset the clock to show "00:01", one whole second being the minimum unit of time possible. Following the resumption of the bout, Heidemann scored a single touch just as the full second expired.[4] The result was partly due to the failure of the referee to stop both fencers restarting closer than the specified distance, Heidemann's "crowding" to hurry her attack, and Shin trying to avoid retreating across her end line.[5]

The South Koreans immediately appealed the decision stating that 0.02s had already elapsed and the final touch occurred after the end of the bout. In accordance with fencing bylaws, Shin A-lam could not leave the piste while the officials deliberated the situation. Sobbing profusely, she sat alone for over an hour awaiting their decision.[6] Ultimately, the judges gave the victory to Heidemann.

An hour later Shin returned for the Bronze Medal match but lost to her Chinese opponent despite loud encouragement from the cheering crowd.[7]

Later, the International Fencing Federation offered her a "special medal" after her controversial épée semi-final defeat.[8] But she rejected the medal saying "It does not make me feel better because it's not an Olympic medal. I don't accept the result because I believe it was a mistake."[9]

Shin won a silver medal in Women's team épée competition five days later.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Olympic Athlete: A Lam Shin". Archived from the original on 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Rogue second spoiled South Korean's Games". Yahoo Sport. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Fencing Rules" (PDF). United States Fencing Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012. Should there be an failure of the clock or an error by the timekeeper, the Referee must estimate how much fencing time is left.
  4. ^ "Olympics fencing: Tearful Shin A Lam denied chance at gold". BBC NEWS. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Guide to the Sport of Fencing". 1 August 2012.
  6. ^ Fencing rules dictate that if you protest an official's decision, you cannot leave the piste until there is a final ruling.
  7. ^ South Korea protests after fencer Shin loses Olympic semifinal, saying match was over Archived 1 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Olympics fencing: Shin A Lam offered special medal after protest". BBC NEWS. 31 July 2012.
  9. ^ "London 2012: Fencer Shin A Lam unhappy with offer of 'special medal'". the guardian. 1 August 2012.
  10. ^ Kang, Pilju (5 August 2012). "한국, 女 에페 단체전 中에 패배…아쉬운 銀".

External linksEdit