Excerpt:

Ibtihaj Muhammad jogs lightly across the second floor gym at the Manhattan Fencing Center in New York. She's warming up, eager to get some work in.

Ready! Fence!

Fencers are already on the strip, a narrow fighting lane, and they're going at it, the air filled with little razor-like hisses and whispers. Many are Olympic hopefuls, like her, preparing for the World Championships Saturday in Italy. The competition is another chance for Muhammad to earn qualifying points in her quest to make the 2012 London Olympics in July.


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