Bhavani Devi becomes first Indian fencer to qualify for Olympics

Bhavani Devi, the first Indian Fencer to qualify for Olympics

C.A. Bhavani Devi became the first Indian fencer to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The sabre fencer secured a spot in the World Cup in Hungary after the host lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing Korea to progress to the last four. Bhavani qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.

Two individual spots were up for grabs for the Asia-Oceania region based on the world rankings as of April 5, 2021. She is ranked 45th and occupies one of the two available slots based on the ranking. The 27-year-old’s qualification will be confirmed when the rankings are made official on the aforementioned date. Bhavani Devi has given fencing an identity in India and has won laurels at the international level through her hard work and determination. The Tamil Nadu fencer competes in the sabre category. The eight-time national champion had failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. However, she stepped up efforts to secure qualification for the Tokyo games and continued to train abroad in Italy.

“It’s been my dream. I have been working hard for the last five years for this. My special thanks to my (late) father and mother for believing in me. I take this opportunity to thank my sponsors, Fencing Association of India and the media. Though I lost early in the round of 96 at the World Cup in Budapest, I was able to maintain the points I got in the World Championship last year. By remaining in the top-2 in Asia by virtue of my points, I was able to make the cut for Tokyo.”