Lee Kiefer has received America’s third ever fencing gold medal in Tokyo after beating defending champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia within the girls´s foil remaining.
The 27-year-old medical pupil overcame the world primary 15-13 in a tense struggle.
It was a good affair with each girls near sealing gold within the remaining levels of the ladies’s foil and had been tied at 12-12 earlier than Kiefer, the world quantity 5, closed the match 15-13.
Kiefer ripped off her masks after the ultimate level and shouted ‘Oh my God!’
With that victory, Kiefer turned the first American lady to win an Olympic medal in particular person foil.
She positioned fifth on the 2012 London Video games and was tenth on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Mariel Zagunis is the one different U.S fencer to earn gold, successful the saber occasions on the 2004 and 2008 Video games.
‘What simply occurred?’ she requested, in shock, earlier than congratulating her coach, in keeping with USA Today. ‘What simply occurred?’
‘I used to be so confused,’ she recounted later. ‘My coach was like sobbing in my arms. I used to be soaking it in however very a lot confused.’
Lee Kiefer screamed as she took her helmet off after successful the girls’s foil particular person qualifying bout in the course of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games
Kiefer, 27, earned the gold medal within the occasion on Sunday
Following her win, she paraded across the stadium carrying an American flag
Kiefer’s highway to her gold medal started with a 15-4 win over Amita Berthier of Singapore, adopted by an in depth 15-13 bout in opposition to Canada’s Eleanor Harvey.
A 15-11 quarterfinal victory over Japan’s Yuka Ueno and the 15-6 resolution in opposition to Larisa Korobeynikova of the Russian Olympic Committee led to the gold medal bout.
Earlier than her day of victory she Tweeted at Workforce USA: ‘You realize us as athletes. We’re a lot extra. We’re artists, activists, dreamers, and doers. And we’re unstoppable.’
Her husband Gerek Meinhardt can be an Olympic medalist and claimed bronze in males’s staff foil on the 2016 Rio Video games. He’ll compete on the Tokyo Video games on Monday, ranked No. 2 on the earth – however he was keen to surrender a few of the highlight on Sunday to deal with his spouse, whom he met whereas on the fencing staff at Notre Dame.
‘It was unbelievable,’ Meinhardt advised USA At the moment. ‘I understand how exhausting she works daily, how a lot she desires it, how necessary part of our lives fencing is.’
She appeared jubilant as she received, holding her helmet and laughing
Kiefer and United States coach Amgad Khazbak rejoice after she wins gold
She hugged those that have supported her alongside her method
The love of fencing does not cease there in her household.
Her siblings Alexandra and Axel have additionally competed within the sport at worldwide degree and father Steve captained the fencing staff at Duke College in Durham, North Carolina.
After failing to win an Olympic medal in 2012 and 2016, she almost stop attempting for an Olympic prize, however by the subsequent yr, she turned the primary American lady to earn the No. 1 spot in foil fencing – furthering her fencing profession.
However as she waited for her likelihood to shine, she enrolled in medical faculty on the College of Kentucky, spending her free time at a fencing membership in Louisville, about an hour and a half away.
The pandemic made issues harder, however she and Meinhardt made a fencing strip in her mother and father’ basement, the place they skilled collectively all final yr.
‘We simply tried to take care of a baseline, so we did not neglect find out how to lunge and our level management did not get too horrible’ she stated.
In March, Kiefer withdrew from medical faculty to deal with making ready for the Tokyo Video games.
She stated she plans to renew her research subsequent yr.
Kiefer, left, confronted off in opposition to Inna Deriglazova, of Russia, within the foil competitors
It was a good match, with the ladies tied 12 – 12 earlier than Kiefer clenched the gold
She beat Deriglazonva 15-13 within the competitors
She has been associates together with her US nationwide teammates Nzingha Prescod and Nicole Ross since they had been kids.
When the trio received girls’s staff foil gold on the 2018 World Championships in Wuxi, China, it was the eighth senior world championships the three of them had competed at collectively.
‘Beginning out we had been nonetheless sort of younger and simply going by means of the motions somewhat bit.
‘Alongside the best way all of us developed these loopy desires to win the Olympics collectively. It will imply the whole lot to make it to Tokyo with these ladies simply because we have been working so exhausting as people and as a staff.
‘We actually know one another’s struggles and hopes and desires.’
Kiefer obtained her gold medal on the rostrum in the course of the medal ceremony
Kiefer, heart, posed with silver medalist Inna Deriglazova and Larisa Korobeinikova, each from the Russian Olympics staff
Each her mother and father are docs. Her mom Teresa emigrated from the Philippines to the USA of America as a toddler, whereas her father Steve captained the fencing staff at Duke
‘Fencing and drugs is all I’ve ever recognized since I used to be born. Earlier than my sister went to school, all of us went to each single follow collectively.
‘It wasn’t solely a whole lot of bonding time however all of us made one another higher by means of fixed follow. All of us are very aggressive, which meant there was a whole lot of preventing once we had been youthful.
But it surely was a whole lot of enjoyable, and now we now have that have collectively as adults.’
Kiefer stated she felt as if she was on prime of the world after securing the gold medal
Lee stated immediately that she felt as if she was one prime of then world after securing gold
‘I had a lot enjoyable and to return out right here and be ok with your fencing is admittedly what all of the athletes attempt to do and hope you could have a medal on the finish’ she stated.
‘I’ve the whole lot factor, I am on prime of the world. That is the most effective day.
‘Earlier than I left my dad wrote me a card, and he stated that we now have been on this journey… Now we have finished our greatest and our pot of gold has been stuffed all alongside as we moved alongside, and simply being right here is the icing on prime.
‘I simply really feel a lot love and I’ve a lot to offer again to everybody. Once I was youthful I used to assume they had been sacrifices however the hours in coaching and issues we do are simply because we like it and that does not really feel like a sacrifice.
‘I nonetheless cannot consider it. I used to be so calm, and now I’m calm and confused. I wish to be prepared for my husband’s occasion tomorrow and our staff occasion.
Requested if she can be celebrating together with her husband she stated she wished to ‘simply go to mattress, besides I had a lot caffeine immediately I in all probability will not go to mattress.