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    Fil-Am fencer Lee Kiefer makes historic rise to world No. 1 ranking after fourth GP title

    Mar 22, 2017
    Fil-Am fencer Lee Kiefer claimed the world No. 1 ranking after winning the gold medal at the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix Long Beach.

    FILIPINO-AMERICAN fencer Lee Kiefer became the first US women’s foil fencer to earn a world No. 1 ranking after winning the gold medal at the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix Long Beach on Saturday.

    The 22-year old Kiefer, daughter of a Dabawenya doctor Teresa Orpilla and neurosurgeon Steve Kiefer, reached the unprecedented feat with her fourth consecutive Grand Prix medal and third straight international podium finish.

    The two-time Olympian moved past erstwhile No. 1 and arch-rival Arianna Errigo of Italy.

    With three international titles and six medals over the last 12 months, Kiefer moved past the 2012 Olympic silver medalist. The Fil-Am foilist has an impressive record of two Olympic stints, three NCAA titles, six Pan-Am titles and now, four Grand Prix titles.

    Although Kiefer and Errigo did not face each other in Long Beach, Kiefer now holds a 2-1 record against the seven-time Senior World Champion in their last three meetings, thanks to wins against Errigo at both the Shanghai and Havana Grand Prix tournaments in 2016.

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    “Besides an Olympic medal, obtaining a world number one ranking has always been my dream,” said Kiefer in an interview with Fencing USA.

    She won a bronze medal at the Senior World Championships in 2011 as the second U.S. women’s foil fencer in history to reach the individual podium at the event.

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    “I remember when the U.S. Foil Team was the youngest team with a lot of talent. It was hard to image the day that we would reach our potential and be the people to beat,” she said.

    “Lee now ranks No. 1 in the World! Congratulations for the historical results you did for yourself and Team USA! Thanks to Lee and everyone who helped make this happen. Its a dream come true!” coach Amgad Abd El-Halim Khazbak posted on Facebook moments after Kiefer’s triumph.

    Kiefer is one of only a handful of Americans to reach the top position in the world and joins Alexander Massialas of San Francisco, California who holds the world No. 1 ranking in men’s foil.

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    “I am very honored to be among fencers with such amazing accomplishments. I finally feel some satisfaction with my fencing but know that I still have a lot of work to do,” Kiefer said.

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    Fil-Am fencer Lee Kiefer claimed the world No. 1 ranking after winning the gold medal at the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix Long Beach.
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