A biological male who previously competed in men's fencing, has achieved victory in women's fencing by winning a world championship title over the weekend. This involved defeating a female opponent who had previously secured 14 championship titles.
Liz Kocab, who stands at a height of six feet, claimed the championship title in the 70+ age category at this year's FIE Veteran Fencing World Championships. The victory was celebrated by USA Fencing, acknowledging Kocab's achievement, as he has now become an eight-time world champion.
“Liz Kocab is now an eight time world champion!” USA Fencing posted on its Instagram. “This is her fourth in a row in Vet Women’s Epee! Congrats Liz!”
USA Fencing allows athletes to take part in competitions “in a manner consistent with their gender identity/expression, regardless of the gender associated with the sex they were assigned at birth,” the group stated.
“Athletes being treated with testosterone suppression medication, for the purposes of USA Fencing-sanctioned competitions may continue to compete in men’s events, but may only compete in women’s events after completing one calendar year (12 months) of testosterone suppression treatment,” the policy stipulates, the Daily Mail reports.
USA Fencing CEO Phil Andrews said last year that the organization will “protect the rights of nonbinary and transgender athletes in fencing.”
“Even as we plan to conduct more scientific research into the physiological effects of gender transition as they pertain specifically to the sport of fencing, we remain unanimously and steadfastly supportive of transgender athletes having their place in fencing,” he added. “To be clear, even as this issue evolves, our support of transgender athletes will not waver.”
Kocab was interviewed by USA Fencing after snatching the women’s title. “I wanted to support USA Fencing,” he said. “I really did. Otherwise, I was actually thinking of stepping away. But the fact that it was in America, I thought that was important to support the USA. This is my way of saying thanks to USA Fencing.”
Riley Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer and advocate for women's sports, voiced her concerns about Kocab's participation in women's competitions.
“Liz Kocab (male) wins his 8th Fencing World Championship title…in the women’s category,” she posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “Winning a title as a male in the women’s category doesn’t make you a champion. It makes you an entitled cheat.”
Liz Kocab (male) wins his 8th Fencing World Championship title...in the women's category
Winning a title as a male in the women's category doesn't make you a champion. It makes you an entitled cheat. pic.twitter.com/9dRNRydtUE
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