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Bhavani Devi clinches India's first ever medal at Asian Fencing Championships, wins bronze in sabre

Published at :June 19, 2023 at 9:50 PM
Modified at :July 6, 2023 at 3:26 AM
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M Sudharshan

She becomes the first Indian fencer to win a bronze medal at the zonal meet

Bhavani Devi scripts history by winning the bronze medal at the Asian Fencing Championships 2023 held in Wuxi, China. The Tokyo Olympian becomes the first Indian fencer (male or female) to clinch a medal at the senior zonal championships.

The 29-year-old won four and drew two matches in the qualifying rounds (called Pools) which enabled her to be seeded 14th. Four Indian women fencers were part of the sabre category (out of 49 overall); Josna Cristy - 40th, Jagmeet Kaur - 44th, Rishika Khajuria - 47th, and Bhavani Devi - 3rd.

Bhavani Devi received a bye in the opening round and had a pretty decent encounter against higher ranked Dospay Karina. Devi, 29, defeated WR 40 and sixth seed Ozaki Seri and become the first Indian at the championships to progress to the quarter-finals (in the individual across all categories). In the quarter-finals, she defeated world champion and WR 1 Emura Misaki (15-10) and assured a medal.

The Indian started the match on a positive note and had a five point lead (6-1). Emura using her experience came back strong to score nine quick points and almost leveled the scoreline (9-11). Bhavani stood firm and held her nerve till the end to clinch a historic win. The Indian almost secured a win against Zaynab Dayibekova losing (14-15) in the semis.

Other fencers including youngater Taniksha Khatri (finished inside top 15) performed well overall. The team championships is set to start tomorrow (June 20th) after the completion of individual events.

Bhavani Devi's performance at the Asian Fencing Championships 2023

R64 - bye

R32 - beats Dospay Karina (15-13)

R16 - beats Ozaki Seri (15-11)

Quarter-finals - beats Emura Misaki (15-10)

Semi-finals - lost to Zaynab Dayibekova (14-15)