US fencer Lee Kiefer clinched her first ever gold medal on Sunday, July 25, in the individual women’s foil fencing event, beating defending champion Inna Deriglazova in the final.
“To come out here and to feel good about your fencing is what all the athletes strive to do and hope you have a medal at the end, so I have everything,” Kiefer, whose mother Teresa traces her roots to Tagum City in Davao, Philippines, said after the finals.
Deriglazova, the Russian ranked No. 1 and has taken part in two previous Olympic Games, was a favorite to win the gold medal and steadily won her bouts throughout the tournament.
In the final, the two went point for point, with Kiefer maintaining a slight lead throughout the match.
Deriglazova sometimes attacked with vigor, pushing Kiefer to the edge of the piste, but Kiefer fought back with decisive stabs, the cheers from her teammates growing louder with each point.
After her win, Kiefer screamed with joy and hugged her coach, before rushing to the stands to hug her husband, fellow US foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt.
Deriglazova looked back at her third run in the Olympics as one that was special because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and made clear that she hadn’t given up on taking a gold medal yet.
“I got the silver medal and as of today that is good, but in the team competition we will be able to win gold – let’s hope that,” she said. – Rappler.com