China lost their appeal seeking to have hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu awarded the bronze medal over an unusual technical glitch during the women’s final on Friday.
The 26-year-old Asian record holder had thought that despite a foul throw in the final round she had won her second successive Olympic bronze medal with a mark of 76.34 metres. While she set off to celebrate the drama was unfolding.
Germany’s world record holder Betty Heidler had been allowed two throws in the fifth and penultimate round. The first one had not been able to be recorded owing to a technical error with the measuring equipment and her second one was a foul.
However, after the competition was over officials returned to the infield and found the mark of Heidler’s initial fifth round throw and were able to measure it at 77.13 (later adjusted to 77.12) which saw her edge the Chinese athlete out of the medal positions.
The appeal failed to convince the appeal jury of the sport’s governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.