Team USA’s top two foil fencers, Lee Kiefer and Alexander Massialas, won gold and silver, respectively, Saturday night at the Long Beach Grand Prix in Long Beach, California – the first U.S. hosted foil grand prix since 2004.
Kiefer, ranked No. 2 in the world, rolled through the field to earn her second straight grand prix win of the season. She opened with a pair of wins over top-50 fencers, downing Poland’s Julia Walczyk 15-11 and Leonie Ebert of Germany 15-4. That led to a round of 16 encounter with world No. 24 Pauline Ranvier of France. Kiefer took that bout by a 15-12 margin, giving her three straight career wins over Ranvier.
Next up was a quarterfinal bout against American teammate Margaret Lu. The two-time Olympian picked up another 15-12 win for her seventh victory against Lu. World No. 3 Inna Deriglazova was Kiefer’s semifinal opponent, but the Russian succumbed to Kieger, 15-9, marking Kiefer’s first win in the last three tries in their series.
The final turned out to be the easiest match for Kiefer. Meeting Russia’s Marta Martyanova for the first time, Kiefer relinquished her No. 118-ranked foe to the silver medal with a 15-4 decision.
Ranked No. 1 in the world, Massialas, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, reeled off three wins against foes ranked No. 124 or higher to reach the quarterfinal round, where he edged No. 51 Ha Taegyu of South Korea by a 15-13 margin to even their series record at two apiece. Next up was Italy’s Daniele Garozzo, who beat Massialas for Olympic gold in Rio, and this time Massialas came out on top by a 15-9 score to advance to the final. In a classic matchup between the world’s top two seeds, Massialas lost to Russia’s Timur Safin, 15-10, falling for only the second time in the five matches between the two.
Team USA placed three fencers in the top 10 in both the men’s and women’s competition. Miles Chamley-Watson was seventh and Race Imboden 10th on the men’s side, while Nicole Ross placed fifth and Lu seventh for the women.