Bhavani Devi has cemented her name in history as she clinched a bronze medal in the Asian Fencing Championships becoming the first Indian to do so.
Bhavani stunned the world number one, Misaki Emura, 15-10 to enter the women’s sabre semifinal. It was also her first win against the Japanese fencer. She also defeated third seed Ozaki Seri of Japan 15-11 in the pre-quarterfinals.
The fencer, however, lost to Uzbekistan’s Zaynab Dayibekova in the semifinals, 15-14, securing a bronze medal.
The fencer who was born in Chennai, started playing the sport in 2004 and played her first international tournament at the age of 14. She won her first international medal in 2010 at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championship where she bagged the bronze medal.
Bhavani was also the first ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics. She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021 where she was defeated in the round of 32. She was awarded the Arjuna Award for fencing in 2021.
Rajeev Mehta, secretary general of the Fencing Association of India congratulated Bhavani on her historic achievement and said, “It is a very proud day for Indian fencing. Bhavani has achieved what no one could achieve before. She is the first Indian fencer to win a medal at the prestigious Asian Championships. On behalf of the entire fencing fraternity, I congratulate her and hope she brings back gold.”
Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur also congratulated Bhavani Devi for her victory. In a tweet, Mr Thakur described Bhavani Devi as a trailblazer and an inspiration to fellow athletes. He said, Bhavani Devi elevated the sport to the recognition it deserves.