Lee Kiefer, the Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate, two-time Olympian and four-time NCAA foil champion, won her first team gold medal at the FIE World Fencing Championships on Thursday in Wuxi, China.
The team of Nzingha Prescod of Brooklyn, N.Y., Margaret Lu of Greenwich, Conn., Nicole Ross of New York and Kiefer bested Italy, the world No. 1, in a come-from-behind 45-35 finals that gave the Americans their country’s first-ever foil world championship.
“We believed in each other. We had a great conversation and we fenced like fire,” Kiefer said in a video interview posted on the International Fencing Federation’s Facebook page.
The women’s epee team achieved the same distinction on Wednesday. The World Fencing Championships are held annually and the women’s team competition dates to 1932.
Kiefer, currently ranked No. 3 in the world in her discipline, finished sixth in the individual competition this week. Last year, after a win at the Long Beach Grand Prix, she became the first American woman to hold the No. 1 ranking. Kiefer completed her college career at Notre Dame in 2017 with her fourth individual NCAA title and was part of the Irish’s national team title. She recently won her ninth straight senior foil gold medal at the Pan American Championships.
Kiefer has continued her fencing career while attending the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and trains at Bluegrass Fencers’ Club in Lexington.