Bronze medal confusion over computer failure

German hammer thrower Betty Heidler nearly lost out on a bronze medal on Friday evening due to a computer failure. Judges re-measured her throw by hand after some confusion and heated protest from both the German and Chinese teams.

Bronze medal confusion over computer failure
Photo: DPA

A computer failure during the transmission of the measurements meant that 28-year-old Heidler’s fifth and longest throw was not correctly recorded on the scoreboard by Olympic judges.

The world record holder from Frankfurt looked on in despair as her fifth throw – which was later measured as 77.13 metres – was officially announced as 72.34 metres, earning her eighth place in the medal table.

After a long wait and indignant protests from the German team, during which Heidler argued audibly with the judges, the throw was re-measured by hand using camera footage and Heidler was awarded bronze.

Judges rejected protests from Chinese hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu, who slipped into fourth place after initially having been awarded the bronze medal.

“I have to say it’s a scandal that everyone saw it and still the wrong measurement appeared on the scoreboard,” German Chef de Mission Michael Vesper told the ARD television channel, wrote Focus magazine on Saturday.

“When Betty Heidler said that she had thrown further the competition continued and the facts were not clarified first. It’s completely incomprehensible,” he added

Heidler, however, does not want to dwell on the judges’ mistake and is satisfied with the final result. “All that doesn’t matter anymore. I’m happy,” she told ARD.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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Germany’s Interior Minister rules out ‘unthinkable’ bid to host 2036 Olympics

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ruled out a bid to host the 2036 Olympics, saying in an interview that it would be "unthinkable" on the 100th anniversary of the Nazi-era 1936 Games in Berlin.

Germany's Interior Minister rules out 'unthinkable' bid to host 2036 Olympics
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Photo: DPA

Held three years before the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1936 games are widely remembered as a propaganda coup for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

In March this year, Berlin's state minister of the interior Andreas Geisel faced heavy criticism after he appeared to suggest Berlin should bid for the 2036 Olympics in an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper.

However, the 69-year-old Seehofer, whose ministry also holds the sports portfolio, said Germany could not be seen to celebrate the centenary of the Nazi-era Berlin Olympics.

“It would be unthinkable. If we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea,” he told Frankfurt-based newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in an interview published on Monday.

“How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot happen.”

Aside from concerns over associations with the Nazi regime, there is scant public support for hosting the Olympics in Germany.

READ ALSO: Interior Ministry begs for more cash after 'forgetting' landmark reunification celebration

Public referendums, in 2015 and 2013, rejected proposed Olympic bids to host the summer games in Hamburg and a winter edition in Munich respectively.

Seehofer said that he was generally in favour of a German Olympic bid, but voiced concern that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had become too focused on commercial success.

“In the eyes of the public, the IOC has wandered too far from its original idea and into commercialism,” he told the FAZ.

He called on the IOC to “de-commercialise” and said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the German Athletes' Commission, which last year demanded that the IOC share a quarter of its profits with Olympic participants.

By Kit Holden