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Nzingha Prescod Places Eighth at Seoul Foil Grand Prix

05/23/2011, 8:27am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The reigning Junior World Champion, Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) became the first U.S. woman to place in the top eight at a Grand Prix foil tournament since 2004 at the Seoul Grand Prix in Korea on Sunday.

Prescod was one of five U.S. athletes who advanced to the table of 64 after earning wins in the preliminary rounds on Saturday.

Prescod defeated 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sylwia Gruchala (POL) in the first bout, 15-14, and advanced to the table of 16 after a 15-9 win over Kyomi Hirata (JPN).

In her third bout of the day, Prescod defeated Ines Boubakri (TUN), 15-12, to qualify for the quarter-finals at a major senior international event since she won the 2009 Pan American Championships as a 17-year-old.

Although Elisa Di Francisca (ITA) won their quarter-final en route to taking the gold medal, Prescod kept the bout close and nearly upset Di Francisca before the 2010 Senior World Champion won the bout, 15-11.

“Nzingha is the first of our new group of young athletes to make the top eight at a Grand Prix and I am proud of her performance this weekend as well as all of the members of the U.S. Foil Team who keep improving with every event,” said USA Fencing Foil Director Mauro Hamza (Houston, Texas).

Earlier in the day, De Francisca also defeated Prescod’s teammate Emily Cross (New York City, N.Y.), a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, in the table of 64, 15-9.

A replacement athlete for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) earned points towards her goal of qualifying for the London Games with her 15th place finish – the first time top-16 finish ever for Willette at a Grand Prix.

Willette won her first bout against Martina Emanuel (GBR), 15-11, and defeated Seung-Min Lim (KOR), 13-12, in the table of 32 before losing to Han-Na Lee (KOR), 12-9, in the table of 16.

Sixteen-year-old Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) entered the event as the only U.S. Team member to be ranked in the top 16 in the world and, therefore, was exempt from competing in the pools on Saturday.

Kiefer advanced to the table of 32 on Sunday for the third time this year with a first-round win over Magda Mroczkiewicz (POL), 15-5. In the next round, Kiefer lost to Huilin Le (CHN), 15-12, and finished 19th overall.

The win was the second over a U.S. team member for Le after she defeated Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.), 15-12, in the table of 64.

Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), who won the team silver medal with Prescod and Kiefer at the Junior Worlds in April, advanced to the table of 64, but lost her opening bout to Han-Na Lee (KOR), 15-13.

Top-eight and U.S. results are as follows, including fencers who placed outside the top 64 on Saturday:

Seoul Foil Grand Prix
1. Elisa Di Francisca (ITA)
2. Arianna Errigo (ITA)
3. Jinyao Chen (CHN)
3. Corinne Maitrejean (FRA)
5. Valentina Vezzali (ITA)
6. Han-Na Lee (KOR)
7. Gabriella Varga (HUN)
8. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

15. Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
19. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
47. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
50. Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
61. Emily Cross (New York City, N.Y.)
67. Adrienne Nott (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.)
95. Ambika Singh (Skillman, N.J.)

About USA Fencing

The United States Fencing Association is the recognized National Governing Body for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA is affiliated with the Féderation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international federation for fencing. USA Fencing is based at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. For more information, visit or

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