India's first fencer Bhavani Devi to qualify for Olympics, exposes on her dreams and challenges

The sabre fencer, who hails from Chennai, qualified for the event during the planet Cups in Hungary after the hosts faced a defeat within the quarterfinals, which eventually assisted in Bhavani making the move Tokyo Games.

India's first fencer Bhavani Devi to qualify for Olympics, exposes on her dreams and challenges
India's first fencer Bhavani Devi to qualify for Olympics, exposes on her dreams and challenges

Bhavani Devi wrote on social Chase your dreams and dreams do come true” media after she became the primary fencer from India to book an Olympic ticket. The sabre fencer, who hails from Chennai, qualified for the event during the planet Cups in Hungary after the hosts faced a defeat within the quarterfinals, which eventually assisted in Bhavani making the move Tokyo Games.

However, the 27-year-old's journey witnessed a series of struggles especially during her initial years, and now she is crammed with confidence to offer her best at the showpiece event, scheduled to require place in July-August this year.

Introduction to fencing

“I picked the game back in 2004 and my journey started with a defeat in my debut. Everyone else from my team won a medal apart from me and this was something that basically motivated me to place in my best efforts,” Bhavani said, during a virtual press-meet on Wednesday.Adding more insights on her introduction to fencing, Bhavani said that it had been the sole option as she was keen on joining sports instead of sitting in school . However, the varsity where she studied had only five sports in their curriculum, out of which four were already filled leaving fencing because the only option for her.

Bhavani and her family had to seem after, considering the heavy money the game requires.On her first training session, Bhavani was asked a rather unwelcoming question about her father’s income, which she had to lie around then.

“When I joined this sport, the primary question they asked students was, ‘How much is your father’s annual income?’ They said fencing may be a very expensive sport and one couldn’t afford it if they came from a poor family. At that time , I lied about what proportion my father was earning in those days,” Bhavani said.

“It was only later that I understood why that teacher had asked us that question. The swords and therefore the equipment were very expensive. within the beginning, we might practice with bamboo sticks and use our swords in competition only. This was because if we broke the swords, we couldn’t afford to shop for them, which process wasn’t easy either because it had to be imported.”

Bhavani, who is also the primary Indian to win a world tournament during this discipline, feels that it had been very ruthless at the start , especially together with her being the sole member of the Indian contingent.

However, she felt more welcome when the news of her Olympic qualification broke, and opposition teams came and congratulated her.“India’s fencing wasn't looked upon very highly in foreign countries, especially with me being the only member to represent the country with none coach. However, things are changing and therefore the day I qualified for Tokyo, many participants came and congratulated me.”The 27-year-old also feels that the game can make rapid progress if it's introduced in every school across the country.

Last Updated :