Chinese hammer thrower loses bronze appeal

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 here 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.

"I'm very upset and I'm very shocked," said Zhang after she heard the bad news but prior to the appeal being lodged.

"I don't know where I finished. I'm worried.

"I do not understand it, especially as the result was announced. I took my flag around the field. I thought I was a bronze winner and now I do not know what is happening."

However, their appeal failed to convince the appeal jury of the sport's governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations.

"The Chinese team lodged a protest after the end of the competition, considering their athlete had been seriously disadvantaged by not knowing, when she took her last attempt, that she was out of the medal positions," read the IAAF jury statement.

"The Jury of Appeal rejected the Chinese protest.

"Betty Heidler's result was however adjusted by 1 centimetre, as 77.12 was the result initially recorded by the EDM (Electronic Distance Measurement) machine"

Former world record holder Tatyana Lysenko of Russia won the gold with an Olympic record of 78.18m.

The 28-year-old - who returned from a two-year doping suspension in April 2011 - edged Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk into second (77.60m).


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