India has never won an Olympic medal in fencing. In fact, the sport is not even very popular in the country. However, that all changed when Bhavani Devi made history by becoming the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics.
Devi will be competing in the women’s sabre event at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Here’s everything you need to know about this groundbreaking athlete.
Story of Bhavani Devi
Early Life and Career
Bhavani Devi was born in Chennai, India in 1991. She comes from a family of athletes; her father was a national-level volleyball player and her mother was a state-level badminton player. However, it was her older sister who first introduced her to fencing.
Devi started fencing when she was just 11 years old and quickly fell in love with the sport. She began competing in tournaments a few years later and won her first national championship in 2005.
Since then, Devi has gone on to have an illustrious career. She is a two-time Asian champion and has represented India at multiple World Championships and Asian Games. In 2019, she made history by becoming the first Indian fencer to win a gold medal at the Tournoi World Cup Satellite series event in Italy. And now, she will be competing at her first Olympic Games.
Devi qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by defeating Bronwen Grimes of New Zealand in the semifinals of the Asian Zonal Qualifier in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last year. It was a huge moment for both Devi and Indian fencing as a whole.
“I am extremely happy to have qualified for the Olympics,” Devi said after the match. “It is a big moment for me and fencing in India.”
Looking ahead to Tokyo, Devi knows that she will be facing some stiff competition. But she is up for the challenge and hopes to make her country proud. “I am aware that I will be up against some of biggest names in world fencing but I am not overawed by them,” she stated confidently. “I am going to do my best and hopefully make India proud.”
We’ll be cheering for Bhavani Devi all the way!
Bhavani Devi is making history as India’s first ever Olympian in fencing. This talented athlete has overcome countless obstacles throughout her career to reach this point, and we can’t wait to see what she does next!
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