LONDON Olympian Lee Kiefer is slowly inching closer to her dream of a medal in the quadrennial games. Unfortunately for the Philippines, the 18-year-old fencer who traces her roots to Davao is representing the United States.
The daughter of a doctor from Tagum, Davao del Norte who reached the foil quarterfinals in the London Olympics in 2012 reached the podium for the first time at a Senior World Cup with her silver medal finish in St. Maur, France on Saturday.
Kiefer defeated reigning Olympic champion Elisa Di Francesca on the way to setting up a gold-medal showdown with Arianna Errigo, the same Italian who had stopped the American in the London quarterfinals.
Errigo asserted her supremacy over Kiefer and posted a 15-8 victory.
Kiefer, who last visited her mother’s hometown in Davao when she was 12, defeated Di Francesca in the quarterfinals, pulling off a stunning 15-6 win before stopping Russia’s Inna Deriglazova 15-14.
Kiefer reached at least the quarterfinals in a top international event for the third straight time after top eight finishes at the Senior Worlds in July and the Cancun World Cup in October.
Kiefer and the US team featuring Nicole Ross, Margaret Lu and Madison Zeiss finished sixth overall.
“Not too many fencers get to fence with and defeat the reigning Olympics foil fencing champ. So exceedingly proud and excited, my heart beats fast whenever I think about it, and whenever I remember watching her fence at the Olympics,” Kiefer’s aunt Martz Angeles Coleman told Spin.ph.
“Lee had fenced well and we are very proud of her. She is now in her sophomore year at Notre Dame and has been NCAA women’s foil fencing gold medalist and continues to win medals around the world,” Coleman added.