Kiefer didn’t just win the United States’ first gold in this year’s sporting event, but the country’s first-ever in the sport’s history in the Games.
After an intense bout on Sunday, Filipino-American fencer Lee Kiefer claimed the gold medal in the women’s individual foil fencing event. Her podium finish saw her stun defending champion Inna Deriglazova (ROC), 15-13, at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Japan.
Deriglazova, who conquered the foil event in Rio, mustered enough strength to rebound from multiple deficits to close the gap to 14-13, but it wasn’t enough to topple Kiefer who dealt the final strike.
With her win, the US has captured its third overall gold in Olympic fencing, with Mariel Zagunis winning gold in saber in the 2002 and 2008 editions of the Games. Kiefer also extends her already brimming accolades, which includes being a four-time NCAA champion and a gold medallist as part of the US’ foil women’s team during the 2018 World Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China.
Kiefer, whose mother Teresa Oropilla Kiefer hails from Tagum, Davao City, started her Olympics journey in 2012, where she finished fifth in the event in London, and continued in 2016, closing at 10th in the Rio tilt.
According to Spin.PH, her mother, as well as members of the Bacani-Oropilla clan, celebrated Kiefer’s triumph in grand fashion. Despite residing in Louisville, Kentucky now, her mother’s dream for Kiefer to win gold in the Olympics emanates through the whole of Tagum where their eminent clan originates.