Not to be outdone by their teammates in epee, the U.S. women’s foil fencing team made its own history on Thursday by becoming the first American foil team to win gold at the world championships.
Ranked No. 3 in the world, the U.S. defeated top-ranked Italy 45-35 in the final in Wuxi, China. In addition to winning the first world title in program history, the Americans also knocked off the team that’s won four of the last five senior world titles.
The U.S. team consists of two-time Olympians Lee Kiefer and Nzingha Prescod, 2012 Olympian Nicole Ross and Margaret Lu. It was the same four-person team that won a silver medal at the 2017 world championships, which was at that time the best finish ever by an American women’s foil team at worlds.
All four are former collegiate student-athletes, with Kiefer (’17) winning four straight NCAA titles – only the second women’s fencer to do so – while representing Notre Dame. Lu (’17), Prescod (’15) and Ross (’13) all competed for Columbia.
In Wuxi, Team USA defeated South Korea 45-22 to reach the gold-medal match. That followed wins over Spain and Canada.
The gold medal on the eighth day of competition in Wuxi was Team USA’s fifth, equaling an American record set in 2015. It comes one day after the women’s epee team won its first medal, a gold. Eli Dershwitz (men’s saber), Courtney Hurley (women’s epee) and Eliza Stone (women’s saber) won individual medals earlier at the event. The world championships wrap up on Friday with team competitions in women’s saber and men’s foil.
Earlier this season the U.S. women’s foil team defeated Italy in the bronze-medal match at the world cup stop in Algiers, Algeria, for its second medal of the season. The team also won its 12th straight gold medal at the Pan American Championships.