Bhavani Devi Scripts history as she became the 1st Indian fencer to qualify for Olympics

Bhavani Devi Scripts history as she became the 1st Indian fencer to qualify for Olympics

Varanasi: Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararamana Bhavani Devi, India’s first-ever fencer to qualify for the Olympics has put India on the world map in the field of fencing. Bhavani’s berth for Tokyo 2020 was confirmed on 14 March when the Men’s and Women’s Sabre Team World Cup 2021 at Budapest concluded.

Chennai-born Bhavani was introduced to the game at the school level in 2004. She has been a flagbearer for fencing in India. Her first major achievement in the discipline came in the 2009 Commonwealth Championship, where she bagged bronze.

She has also clinched bronze medals at the 2010 International Open, 2010 Cadet Asian Championship, 2012 Commonwealth Championship, 2015 Under-23 Asian Championship, and 2015 Flemish Open.

Devi was also the first Indian to win a silver medal at the 2014 Asian Championship in the Under 23 category. She has also made history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Senior Commonwealth Fencing Championship in Canberra in 2019.

Fencing holds a special place in Olympic history because it is one of the only 5 sports to be featured since the first modern games in 1896. Most sports in the Olympics are really easy to watch, you cross a finish line, hit a target, score a point but fencing is different. The game is fast and precise and has 3 very different events which are FOIL, EPEE, and SABRE. Each event has its own weapon and set of rules.

Saber is the 2nd fastest sport in Olympic games after rifle shooting. That means the blade is moving as fast as a bullet. The Sabre weapon is for thrusting and cutting with both the cutting edge and the back of the blade. The maximum length of the blade is 88 cm.

The general target area for the discipline contains the entire area above the waist which includes the head and the arms up to the wrist of which a valid hit may be scored. The legs, hands, and feet are excluded from the target area.

The modern Sabre uses an electrical connection to register touches. The player wears a conductive jacket, to complete the circuit and register a touch to a valid target. The hits are registered by light signals which are red and green, Different for each player.

Things were not in the hands of Bhavani as the outcome from other matches was responsible for Bhavani’s qualification. For Bhavani to secure a berth for Tokyo Olympics, South Korea needed to finish in the top four of the team events of the Sabre World Cup in Budapest.

Eventually, things fall according to Bhavani as South Korea won the quarterfinal against Hungary, allowing Indian fencer Bhavani to claim one of two individual spots reserved for Asia & Oceania via Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR).

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju congratulated Bhavani Devi on her qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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