Chennai, March 14
Tamil Nadu’s CA Bhavani Devi has become the first-ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games.
The sabre fencer secured a spot in the World Cup in Hungary after the hosts lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing South Korea to progress to the semifinal.
This enabled Bhavani Devi to qualify for the Olympics through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method, due to her world ranking.
Two individual spots were up for grabs for the Asia and 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.
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 under coach Nicola Zanotti before the Covid-19-induced shutdown halted the qualification process. — TNS, Agencies
Know Bhavani Devi
- Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games.
- Daughter of a priest father and a homemaker mother, Bhavani Devi was introduced to fencing sport in 2004. She is a sabre fencer (the other categories are epee and foil).
- In the 2010 Asian Championship in the Philippines, she bagged a bronze medal.
- Her first international gold medal came in Tuscany Cup in Italy in 2014.
- Bhavani became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the senior Commonwealth Fencing Championship, in Canberra, in 2018.