World number one Kiefer wins FIE’s Reinhold-Würth-Cup in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany
USA’s Lee Kiefer lived up to her world number one ranking in women’s foil by taking gold at the Reinhold-Würth-Cup in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.
In her first competition after moving up to the world number one ranking in women’s foil in March – becoming the first USA women’s foil fencer ever to do so – Kiefer overcame world number two Arianna Errigo of Italy in the Final to earn herself a fourth consecutive podium finish.
Kiefer progressed through her first four matches, defeating Japan’s Sera Azuma 15-12, Russia’s Kristina Novalin’ska 15-12 and Russia’s Yana Alborova 15-7, before defeating Hungary’s Fanny Kreiss, ranked No. 27 in the world, 15-10 in the quarter finals.
The pressure intensified in the semi-finals as Kiefer came up against world number three, Inna Deriglazova of Russia, with the American edging out a 15-14 win.
The Final was no easier as world number two Errigo gave a great performance, but again Kiefer called on all her experience to claim another narrow 15-14 victory and take the gold medal.
The win continues what has been a dream season for Kiefer to date Since October 2016, she has earned four medals; gold at Grand Prix events in Long Beach, California and Turin, Italy in addition to her latest in Germany, and bronze at the World Cup in Gdansk, Poland after a surprise upset in the semi-finals. Less than a week later she made more history by winning her fourth NCAA title, only the second female fencer to reach that accomplishment.
There was some consolation for Errigo as Italy claimed the women’s team event beating hosts Germany in the Final.
The Italians were deserved winners after impressing throughout the competition. Victories over Argentina (45-18) in the last 16 and then Canada in the quarter-finals (45-39) were the prelude to a fine semi-final win over France (45-40).
Germany lay in wait in the gold medal match but the Italians silenced the home support winning comfortably by a 45-33 scoreline.
The weekend’s action in Tauberbischofsheim was start of a busy few weeks of World Cup and Grand Prix competition which continues next weekend (5 to 7 May) with two FIE World Cup events in prospect with the men’s individual and team foil in St Petersbourg, Russia, and also the women’s individual and team epee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
They are followed by the next Grand Prix events in the FIE series, with the men’s and women’s foil in Shanghai, China on 19 May, before the men’s and women’s epee being staged in Bogota, Colombia, on 26 May.