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Freeman Cebu Sports

Fil-Am fencer makes history in Olympics

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A decorated Filipino-American fencer makes history at the Tokyo Olympics.

Donning the colors of Team USA, Lee Orpilla Kiefer went undefeated to etch her name in stone as the first American foil fencer to clinch an Olympic gold.

Overall, it's only the third gilt of US in the quadrennial Games.

Kiefer, whose mother Teresa Orpilla hails from Tagum City, Davao del Norte, came from behind to stun defending champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia in their final match, 15-13, on Sunday night at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Japan.

It's third time lucky indeed for the 27-year-old former World No.1 after failing to win a medal at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kiefer, who bagged gold medal with the US foil women’s team during the 2018 World Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China, credited her most latest triumph to the collective effort put up by their team.

“I owe so much to the foil team. We all pretty much relocated to Colorado Springs to train with each other for the past five months,” Kiefer said in a report by USA Fencing. “We’ve had all of our best days, our worst days and all of our Olympic dreams together. It’s been an incredible half year, despite the crazy circumstances of COVID.” — EBV

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