Lee Kiefer placed fifth at the Senior Worlds in Budapest. Photo Credit: #BizziTeam
(Budapest, Hungary) – Two-time Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) earned her second straight individual top-eight finish at the Senior World Championships on Friday, placing fifth in the women’s foil event.
Kiefer missed earning her fourth career Senior World medal by a single bout concluded the 2018-19 season fifth in the world rankings.
Exempt from pools due to her No. 6 world ranking, Kiefer started her first bout with an 8-0 run against Alexandra Senyuta (UKR) before closing at 15-7 in just under two minutes flat.
In the second round, Kiefer faced Nicole Pustilnik (ISR) – a Southern California native who changed her representation to Israel in February and fenced at the Junior and Cadet Worlds for her new team in March.
Pustilnik caught Kiefer early and took an 8-3 lead, but Kiefer went on a 12-3 run to reclaim the bout and a 15-11 victory.
Germany’s Anne Sauer met a similar fate when Kiefer took a 7-4 lead and blasted eight more touches to Sauer’s one as she ended the bout at 15-5.
Kiefer drew former Olympic and World Champion Arianna Errigo (ITA) in the quarter-finals – facing the Italian for the first time since the 2016-17 season where Kiefer won both of their matchups on the circuit.
Errigo pulled away to a 7-4 lead before Kiefer answered with six straight to steal the lead at 10-7. Errigo tied the score at 10 and took three more to set the score to 13-10 in her favor. Kiefer replied with three touches, but Errigo put up a single light to win the bout, 15-13.
Errigo went on to win her 17th career Senior World medal with a bronze.
Kiefer’s 2012 Olympic teammates, Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) each picked up Olympic qualification points as well with top-32 finishes in Budapest.
Prescod, a top-eight finisher at this event in 2018 and bronze medalist in 2015, was exempt from pools on Tuesday and got off to a good start in her table of 64 bout on Friday, leading Hiu Wai Valerie Cheng (HKG), 6-2, after the first and 12-6 after the second period. Cheng made a brief comeback in the third, cutting Prescod’s lead to 13-11 before the two-time Olympian scored two touches to end the bout at 15-11.
In the 32, Prescod fenced Jessica Guo (CAN), one of the sport’s rising stars as a 14 year old who won silver behind Ross at the Pan American Championships last month and earned a top eight on the circuit as a 16 year old. Guo took an 8-2 lead in the second and Prescod couldn’t make up ground, falling to the Canadian, 15-10.
Ross, who was also exempt from pools, controlled her table of 64 bout against Nataly Michel (MEX), building a 6-3 lead in the first and winning the bout at 15-6 in the second.
Ross kept her next bout against Xingxin Huo (CHN) tight, taking a 3-1 lead after the first period and staying within two when Huo pulled away at 7-5 going into the third. Huo led the bout by two at 11-9 in the penultimate minute and then began picking off touches, outscoring Ross, 4-1, to win the bout, 15-10.
First-time team member Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) advanced from the pool rounds with a 5-1 record to the table of 64 where Hanna Lyczbinska (POL) led the bout, 5-3, after the first period before Dubrovich countered to take the lead at 8-7 at the end of the second. Lyczbinska tied the bout at eight and had reached 13-10 in the final minute when Dubrovich scored three straight in less than 20 seconds to force overtime. Lyczbinska took the first touch in the sudden death period, however, to win the bout, 14-13.
In the men’s epee competition, it was Team USA’s oldest male fencer who earned the best result of the day when 34-year-old Adam Rodney (New Orleans, La.) placed 22nd at his second Senior Worlds.
Rodney, who went undefeated in pools, fenced Yunior Reytor Venet (CUB) less than three weeks after Venet won bronze at the Pan American Championships. With the score tied at five after the first period, Rodney gave up just one double as he pulled away to a 10-6 lead and finish with two singles and a 15-9 win.
In the 32, Rodney opened with three singles against Andrea Santarelli (ITA) and held the bout at a tie at six before the Italian scored a last second touch with .06 on the clock to end the first period at 7-6. Santarelli outscored Rodney, 8-4, in the second to win the bout, 15-10 and go on to earn bronze.
With his top-32, Rodney earns his first points towards Olympic qualification as he currently sits among the top four fencers in the United States, including his 2019 teammates Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.), Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.) and James Kaull (New York City, N.Y.) – each of whom placed in the top 64 in Budapest with Hoyle and McDowald competing as exempt fencers with top-16 rankings and Kaull advancing through the pool and preliminary rounds on Tuesday.
In a rematch of their quarter-final bout at the Vancouver World Cup in February where Hoyle won bronze, he faced Romain Cannone (FRA) in the 64. Although Hoyle led the bout, 8-7, at the break and 13-12 in the second period, Cannone pulled away with two quick singles and earned the win at 15-14 with a double.
McDowald trailed Ahmed Elsaghir (EGY) by one touch after the first period at 5-4 and two after the second at 10-8, but it was in the third when the Egyptian took three singles to up the score to 13-8. McDowald replied with a single for 13-9, but Elsaghir scored twice more for a 15-9 win.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Women’s Individual Foil Senior World Championships
1. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
2. Pauline Ranvier (FRA)
3. Elisa Di Francisca (ITA)
3. Arianna Errigo (ITA)
5. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
6. Yuka Ueno (JPN)
7. Adelina Zagidullina (RUS)
8. Xingxin Huo (CHN)
21. Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
22. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
40. Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.)
Men’s Individual Epee Senior World Championships
1. Gergely Siklosi (HUN)
2. Sergey Bida (RUS)
3. Igor Reizlin (UKR)
3. Andrea Santarelli (ITA)
5. Yannick Borel (FRA)
6. Koki Kano (JPN)
7. Bas Verwijlen (NED)
8. Ruslan Kurbanov (KAZ)
22. Adam Rodney (New Orleans, La.)
34. Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.)
35. Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.)
55. James Kaull (New York City, N.Y.)
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