Lee Kiefer looks on after winning her bout against Yuka Ueno (Japan) in the women's individual foil quarterfinals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 25, 2021 in Chiba, Japan.
After three years, the U.S. fencing team is headed back to a world championships.
A 25-member U.S. team will be among 950 fencers from 104 countries competing at the 2022 FIE Fencing World Championships that take place July 15-23 in Cairo, Egypt.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delayed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which were pushed back until 2021, the world championships have not been held since 2019. The U.S. men’s foil team won the gold medal in 2019 and the American women’s foil team took the bronze medal in Budapest, Hungary.
The U.S. senior world championships team includes 15 who competed in Tokyo. Among them is Lee Kiefer, a gold medalist in women’s foil who is ranked No. 1 in the world. Newcomers to the senior world championship stage includes six American teenagers.
Alexander Massialas, a three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world medalist in men’s foil, is in his 10th world championships. He became the first U.S. fencer to reach two Olympic medal podiums since 1904 with an individual silver and team bronze in Rio in 2016.
The 28-year-old from San Francisco is hoping that his performance at the world championships will atone for a season hampered by, among other things, a wrist injury.
“This season has definitely been a difficult season for me as far as results are concerned,” Massialas said. “It’s definitely been the least successful season I’ve had in almost a decade or more. It’s been a different season.”
Massialas, a former world No. 1, is the son of three-time Olympian Greg Massialas, who coaches him.
“It’s definitely been a very special experience,” Alexander Massialas said of working with his father. “There’s always that little bit of pressure. I was a very competitive kid, so I didn’t take it as added pressure.
“It gave me a lot of confidence,” he added. “If he went to three Olympics, I’m going to go to four. It really didn’t feel like negative pressure. It really felt like a more motivational tool for me growing up. I really felt like I was paving my own way.”