NYC World Cup Concludes with Women’s Foil
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Hometown prodigy Nzinga Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) reached the round of 16 with family and friends cheering her on. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) had to travel a little farther and fence a little longer to reach same round in Women’s Foil on the last day of the NYC World Cup at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.
The future is bright for the two teenage fencers. Coming into the tournament ranked 20th in the world by FIE, Prescod automatically qualified for the final table of 64. The 17-year-old defeated Barbara Garcia Azua of Chile, 15-2, and No. 19 Hye Sun Lee of Korea, 15-7, before falling to third-seeded Katja Waechter of Germany, 15-12.
“It went pretty well,” Prescod said. “I had a couple of good bouts, so I’m happy about that.”
Kiefer, who turned 16 on Tuesday, won all six pool matches and received a bye past the table of 128 into Sunday’s final 64 as the 18th seed. She took down fellow American Dorris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.), 15-6, and No. 15 Viktoria Nikichina, 15-11 en route to a round of 16 loss to second-seeded and eventual tournament finalist Hyun Hee Nam of Korea, 15-8.
“This is a good finish for Nzingha and Lee, this has actually been building all season for both of them,” said Mike Pederson, USFA Women’s Foil Coach. “They are a young group, a young team, and throughout the course of the season, there have been a few ups and downs, and this is a nice end to the season. It puts them in a good spot psychologically. It shows them they have the capacity to compete at the highest level internationally.”
The first round of fencing on Sunday was not good to American foil fencers. The U.S. Women’s Foil Team entered the day with 11 fencers in the table of 64. Prescod and Kiefer were the only two to advance. Ambika Singh (Skillman, N.J.) and Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y) both entered the World Cup ranked in the top 40 in the world before hard-fought losses to German fencers in the round of 64. Singh lost to Larissa Merkl, 15-13, while Ross fell to Sandra Bingenheimer, 11-10.
The World Cup marks the first international competition in New York City since 2004. The fencers will look to reach their peak in Brooklyn as it is one of the last international events before the World Championships in Paris, Nov. 4-13.
“I’d have to say we’re right on track, we’ve positioned ourselves as a team,” Peterson said. “Right now we’re sixth in the world and that’s a really good slot for us to be in. It sets us up for World Championships in Paris, really well with a good draw in the first round. Overall, I’m really happy with the entire group.”
Prescod said she drew on the energy provided by her enthusiastic fan base and is ready for Paris.
“I feel pretty good right now,” Prescod said. “I’m happy with how I fenced; just the last bout was kind of frustrating.”
About U.S. Fencing Association: The United States Fencing Association (USFA) is the recognized NGB for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA was founded in 1891 as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) by a group of New York fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union. The AFLA changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981. The USFA is affiliated with the Féderation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international federation for fencing founded in Paris in 1913. The USFA was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964 and in Colorado in 1993 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act and opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in August of 1982. For more visit www.usfencing.org, www.facebook.com/usfencing or www.twitter.com/usfencing.
About the Fencers Club of New York: The Fencers Club of New York is a nonprofit organization founded in 1883, making it the oldest fencing institution in the country. The club has a long history of developing talented international-level athletes while also providing a number of fencing- and academic- related community service programs throughout the city. The Fencers Club has sent its athletes to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, and fencing has a particularly distinguished and successful record in the New York community. The six Beijing medalists from New York were all fencers.