Thursday, March 23, 2017

Filipina American fencer is No. 1 in the world

Lee Kiefer is the world's top woman fencer.

A FILIPINO/AMERICAN fencer made history when she achieved the No. 1 ranking in the world.

When Lee Kiefer, 22, became the best woman foil fencer in the world, it was the first time an American woman was ranked that high and, certainly, the only person of Filipino descent to win that title.

Kiefer, who was a member of the U.S. Olympic fencing team in 2016 and 2012 won gold on Saturday (March 20) at the Absolute Fencing Gear® FIE Grand Prix Long Beach – her fourth consecutive Grand Prix medal and third straight international podium finish, 
according to USA Fencing. Kiefer’s win makes her the first U.S. women’s foil fencer to win two Grand Prix titles.
At the event, Kiefer defeated two-time Olympic gold medalist Russian Inna Deriglazova and earned her fourth consecutive Grand Prix medal.
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"I had a really good season. It kind of snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting it because these past few weeks, and even months, I've geared all my preparation towards NCAA competitions," Kiefer told NBC News. Kiefer is in her senior year at University of Notre Dame, where she competes at a collegiate level and is a three-time NCAA champion.
Kiefer wasn't the only Asian/American celebrating at the competition. She was joined by  Taiwanese/American Alex Massialas (also 22), who earned a silver medal.

Massialas from San Francisco, Calif. is also ranked No. 1 in the world and earned a silver medal and team bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“Besides an Olympic medal, obtaining a world number one ranking has always been my dream,” said Kiefer, who hails from Lexington, Kentucky.