(L-R) Nicole Ross, Lee Kiefer, Margaret Lu and Nzingha Prescod pose at the 2017 FIE Fencing World Championships in Leipzig, Germany.
Led by Lee Kiefer, Nicole Ross, Margaret Lu and Nzingha Prescod, the U.S. women’s foil team made history at the 2017 FIE Fencing World Championships Monday in Leipzig, Germany with a silver-medal performance. It’s the best result in the team foil event for the U.S. women in world championships history.
The previous best finish for a U.S. women’s foil team was a bronze medal at the 2001 world championships. The 2008 team earned a silver medal at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.
The U.S. women earned silver after a spirited 45-24 loss to Italy with Kiefer, a two-time Olympian, scoring 10 touches to lead the team. The U.S. women earned a milestone win in the semifinals when they bet second-seeded Russia, the defending world champion, by a 45-42 score.
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Ross, a 2012 Olympian, and two-time Olympian Prescod turned in key performances against Russia while Kiefer, in the role of anchor leg, outscored 2016 Olympic champion Inna Deriglazova to seal a first-ever gold medal match. Prescod was a last-minute addition to the team after Sabrina Massialas was injured in the individual event on Friday.
Kiefer led the way for the U.S. in the finals with 10 touches, and in the quarterfinals with 22 touches in a 45-30 win over China.
The U.S. men’s saber team of 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer, 2016 Olympian Eli Dershwitz, 2012 Olympian Jeff Spear and first-time world championship participant Geoff Loss made it to the bronze medal match but fell 45-40 to defending world champion Italy.
The U.S. narrowly missed making the gold medal match in men’s team saber with a 45-44 semifinals loss to Korea. Homer rallied the U.S. in the match with an 11-point performance against Kim Jung-hwan to go from down 25-17 to down just 30-28. Homer ended the match with 20 touches.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.