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Lee Kiefer Defeats World No. 1 to Win her First World Cup Title

02/10/2015, 12:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Lee Kiefer (second from left) receives her first place trophy in Algers. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / Federscherma

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – A Senior World medalist by 17 and an Olympian at 18, 20-year-old Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) reached another milestone on Saturday when she won her first Senior World Cup title at the Algers Foil World Cup in Algeria.

Exempt from the pools and preliminary rounds, Kiefer opened with a 15-8 win over Gabriella Varga (HUN) in the table of 64 and defeated Martyna Synoradzka (POL), 15-13, in the 32.

After a 15-12 win against 2013 Senior World silver medalist Carolin Golubytskyi (GER) in the 16, Kiefer secured a podium finish by defeating Yana Alborova (RUS), 15-4.

Kiefer controlled her semifinal bout as well where she defeated 2009 Senior World Champion Aida Shanaeva (RUS), 15-10.

In the gold medal final, Kiefer fenced Arianna Errigo (ITA) – the two-time reigning Senior World Champion and current World No. 1. The bout would be a rematch between the two Olympians after Errigo won their last gold medal final in St. Maur in November.

“This was the fourth time I have fenced Arianna in the last year. After losing to her a few times in a 15-touch bout, I decided to be more aggressive and essentially move forwards the entire time,” Kiefer said. “I was able to try this strategy out in the team event in Gdansk and it worked pretty nicely! It is always a lot of fun to fence her since we both like to move a lot and have big actions.”

Kiefer’s plan worked and she took an early lead in the first period before winning the bout, 15-14.

“I never thought that I would win a World Cup this year,” said Kiefer who moved up to a career-high No. 4 world ranking. “I just want to keep focusing on my fencing and will hopefully be successful going into the Olympic year.”

All three of Kiefer’s teammates advanced to the table of 64 on Saturday as well.

Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), the 2014 Youth Olympic Games Champion, earned one of her biggest career bout wins when she defeated 2012 Olympic team silver medalist Larisa Korobeynikova (RUS), 11-9.

Massialas qualified for the table of 16 after a 15-10 victory over Anastasia Ivanova (RUS). Although she lost her next bout to Marta Lyczbinska (POL), 7-5, Massialas’s 16th place finish is a career high and allowed the 18-year-old to move up to fourth in the National Team Point Standings with one international event remaining before the women’s foil team is selected for the 2015 Senior World Championships.

London Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) won her table of 64 bout against Haruka Yanaoka (JPN), 15-7, but finished 20th after a 15-11 loss to Marika Shrzanowska (POL).

Kiefer and Ross’s 2012 Olympic teammate, Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) narrowly missed qualifying for the table of 32 when she lost by a touch in the 64 to Olivia Wohlgemuth (AUT), 10-9.

Kiefer, Ross, Massialas and Prescod fenced in the team event on Sunday and started strong with a 45-19 win against China in the quarter-finals, but Team USA lost to Russia, 45-31, in the semis.

The Americans, who won silver last month in Gdansk, earned their third top-four result of the season after a 38-31 loss to Germany.

“Looking at the season as a whole, we have gained so much experience and cohesiveness as a team,” Kiefer said. “To be honest, everyone had a pretty average day this tournament which we know we can improve on and I think we can definitely bring home another medal this season.”

Click here to view complete individual results.

Click here to view complete team results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Algers Individual Foil World Cup
1. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)

2. Arianna Errigo (ITA)
3. Aida Shanaeva (RUS)
3. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
5. Valentina Vezzali (ITA)
6. Marta Lyczbinska (POL)
7. Yana Alborova (RUS)
8. Chiara Cini (ITA)

16. Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
20. Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.)
33. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Algers Team Foil World Cup
1. Italy
2. Russia
3. Germany
4. USA
5. Poland
6. China
7. Hungary
8. Canada

Tag(s): News  Nicole Ross  Lee Kiefer  Nzingha Prescod  Sabrina Massialas