Lee Kiefer, a two-time Olympian and the first U.S. women’s foil fencer to be ranked No. 1 in the world when she did so last season, won the gold medal at the season-opening women’s foil world cup on Saturday in Cancun, Mexico.
Kiefer, now ranked No. 3, defeated Italy’s Alice Volpi, the 2017 world silver medalist, in the gold-medal bout.
Coming off a historic team silver medal earned at the 2017 world championships in July, Kiefer won all six of her matches Saturday, which included a 15-10 rout of six-time world team medalist Larisa Korobeynikova of Russia in the round of 16, a 15-7 win over 2014 world silver medalist Martina Batini of Italy in the semifinals before
Volpi earned silver after falling to Kiefer, 15-14, while Battini and Italian teammate Arianna Errigo took bronze.
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Kiefer, 23, scored her biggest victory in March when she defeated two-time Olympic champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia at the Long Beach Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman in foil history to earn the No. 1 world ranking.
The Notre Dame graduate is only the second U.S. women’s foil fencer to win a grand prix title, doing so in 2016. She is the first U.S. woman to earn an individual medal at senior worlds, taking the bronze in 2011.
Nicole Ross fell to Volpi 15-11 in the quarterfinals to finish sixth.
Action in the Cancun World Cup concludes Sunday with the women’s team foil.
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.