A Korean fencer who lost a dramatic semifinal in controversial circumstances on Monday likely fell victim to human error or malfunctioning timing equipment, the general secretary of the sport's federation told R-Sport.
The official score showed the female fencer, A Lam Shin, lost 6-5 in overtime to Germany’s Britta Heidemann in the sport's individual epee discipline.
But timing equipment had not been activated toward the end of the semifinal, allowing Heidemann extra time to register points.
Had the contest ended 5-5, A would have advanced to the final.
The result left A in tears and prompted her coaches to file an appeal, which happened to be delayed due to the failure of the team to include a payment with it.
"It was most likely that there was some failure with the equipment or the button had been pressed in time," Maxim Paramonov told R-Sport.
"We were confronted by a dilemma: to take the right decision from a human point of view or the right decision from the point of view of fencing rules, which aren't perfect.
"The technical committee decided to take the second route."
Paramonov said he regrets the fact that the sport depends on "such equipment."
"But the technical committee made the right decision," which he said was final.
A, meanwhile, proceeded to the bronze medal match, where she lost to China's Yujie Sun.