The 27-year old sabre fencer secured her Tokyo Olympics ticket through the Adjusted Official Ranking method.
C.A. Bhavani Devi from Tamil Nadu has created history. She has achieved a record-breaking feat after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in the sport of Fencing. She became the first fencer to have qualified from India for the Olympics.
The 27-year-old secured the qualification through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method, after two individual spots were available from the Asia and Oceania region. The fencer is ranked 45th in the World Rankings, and once the rankings are announced and deemed official on 5 April 2021, her qualification will be confirmed.
Kiren Rijiju, the Union Sports Minister of India, took the opportunity to congratulate the athlete on her achievement through a tweet. He was quoted as saying, “Congratulations to Indian fencer Bhavani Devi who has qualified for Tokyo Olympics! She has become the 1st ever Indian fencer to achieve the feat. My best wishes to IamBhavaniDevi,”
The sabre’s qualification was confirmed due to the series of events unfolded in the ongoing Fencing World CUp. Hungary’s loss in the quarter-finals allowed South Korea to advance in the tournament which allowed Bhavani to qualify through the adjusted ranking system.
The 2020 Tokyo Games have been postponed due to the pandemic and will now be kicked off on 8 August 2021. The eight time national champion had been training with her coach from Italy Nicola Zanotti prior to the qualification process being halted due to the lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Bhavani Devi narrowly missed out on securing qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio but has performed well to find that extra motivation and finally achieve the elusive feat. She will certainly be an inspiration for many aspiring athletes, and will bring attention to the sport of fencing in the country.