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Tokyo Olympics: Meet Bhavani Devi, the only Indian representative in Fencing

LockerRoom Team
21 July 2021

Bhavani Devi, hailing from Tamil Nadu, is the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics and will be the lone representative of India in fencing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Early Career

Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1993, Bhavani started her sporting career at a young age itself. She was introduced to fencing during her school days in 2004 and she ended up appearing in her first International tournament at the young age of 14.

The first major break for Bhavani came in 2009 when she won a Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Championship held in Malaysia. She then followed this up with medals at the Asian Championship, and international open.

She even received praise from her state back in 2014 after securing a medal at the Asian Championship when then chief minister the late Jayalalitha honored her with prize money of three lakhs which was used to fund her training in the United States.

Bhavani received further support in 2015 when she became one of the 15 athletes selected for the Go Sports Foundation for Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Program. Bhavani specializes in sabre fencing in which the upper body becomes the target.

Qualifying for Olympics

Bhavani qualified for the Olympics through the Adjusted Official Ranking Method. Two Individual spots were up for grabs for the Asia and Oceania region based on World Rankings back in April 2021 and Bhavani was occupying one of these top two slots based on her World Ranking of 45 at that time.

An eight-time national champion, Bhavani failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics but will be looking to make her debut a memorable one at the Tokyo Olympics.

"The Olympics is a very special competition and the most important for all the athletes. So every match is going to be tough and everything is possible.” She noted in an interaction with PTI.

She further went on to add that the confusion regarding the postponement of the Olympics initially troubled her though she grew out of the same later on.

“At the beginning, we had lots of confusion about tournaments and the Olympics. Later, I understood the situation but I wanted to be ready whenever the competition started. So I did some training at home, on the terrace. Somehow, we managed to prepare during the lockdown and once I came back to Italy, I began my full-fledged training. Having missed out on qualifying for the Rio Games in 2016, the fencer said she had put too much pressure on herself before realizing the importance of staying in the moment. It was affecting my performance. I realized the importance of staying in the moment. Also, the experience I gained during this period made me stronger and helped me to work harder for Tokyo," she added

What do you think of Bhavani’s chances at the Tokyo Olympics? Let us know in the comment section of the article below.

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