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U.S. Women’s Foil Team Upsets Korea, Finishes Fourth in Tauberbischofsheim

03/12/2013, 4:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Margaret Lu anchored Team USA in the bronze medal final against France. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the first time in nearly six years, the U.S. Women’s Foil Team finished in the top four at a World Cup on Sunday.

Fencing with just two members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team – Columbia redshirt sophomore Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) – Team USA’s fourth-place result at the Tauberbischofsheim World Cup in Germany marked the best finish for the squad since 2007.

In the table of 16, Prescod, Ross and two-time Junior World medalist Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) fenced a Hungarian team led by four-time Senior World medalist Aida Mohamed.

Both Ross and Lu, a freshman at Columbia, won their bouts against Mohamed and helped build a 40-25 lead for the Americans going into the final bout in which Prescod anchored Team USA to a 45-26 victory with a 5-1 final win over Mohamed.

In the quarter-finals, the Americans faced a Korean team that included two members of the squad that won bronze in London – Hee-Sook Jeon, a 2009 Senior World silver medalist, and Gil-Ok Jung.

Due to the seeding structure of the World Cups, Team USA has met Korea in the quarter-finals in five of the last seven World Cups during the past two seasons as well as the London Games where Korea came out on top.

While Korea has won each of their last six matches, Prescod, Ross and Lu USA fenced strategic early bouts and won or tied six of the first eight bouts to take a 25-17 lead.

During the final match, both teams took calculated risks for what would be a rapid-fire shootout. Korea subbed in Mi-Na Kim against Lu who was making her international debut as anchor.

In just three minutes, the two fencers combined for 29 touches, but it was Lu who held on for the 15-14 in and a 40-31 victory for Team USA.

Fencing for in the semifinals of an international tournament outside of the Pan Am region for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games, the Americans faced Russia – the 2012 Olympic silver medalists.

With Russia up, 20-5, after the fourth bout, two-time Cadet World Team member Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) was subbed in for Lu. Although Massialas earned four touches against Inna Deriglazova who had won gold in the individual event on Saturday, Russia still held a 40-13 lead by the final bout.

Back in her role as anchor, Prescod scored six touches against Deriglazova, but wasn’t able to make up enough ground and Russia won the match, 45-19.

Prescod sat out the bronze medal match against France and Massialas stepped into the starting lineup.

Although Ross picked up a key victory against 2010 Junior World medalist Anita Blaze, 6-4, in the seventh bout, France held a 40-20 lead going into Lu’s final bout against 2012 Olympian Astrid Guyart.

Guyart held Lu to three touches and France won the match, 45-23.

Prescod, Ross, Lu and Massialas will return to international competition on March 22 at the Torino Foil World Cup.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Tauberbischofsheim Team Foil World Cup
1. Italy
2. Russia
3. France
4. USA
5. Korea
6. Japan
7. Germany
8. China

Tag(s): News  Nzingha Prescod  Margaret Lu