The fencer spoke exclusively to Khel Now after her memorable debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bhavani Devi created history after she became the first ever Indian to represent the country in fencing at the Olympic Games. At the Tokyo Olympics, she dominated and won her first-round match against Tunisian Nadia ben Azizi before bowing out against eventual bronze medal winner Manon Brunet in the next.

The Indian fencer spoke to Khel Now about her experiences in the Olympics as well as what she has planned for life after Tokyo 2020.

Performance at the Olympics

The opening game for Bhavani Devi against Nadia Ben Azizi was of huge historical significance in Indian fencing. It also resonated on a personal level for the Indian fencer.

“It was a very special feeling. I got a little emotional when I stepped onto the stage because I have always been dreaming of this moment – fencing in an Olympic arena. It was a very special and unforgettable moment in my life. I am thankful to all the people who have helped me arrive at this position,” stated Bhavani Devi.

She beat her first-round opponent with ease but found a tough adversary in Manon Brunet, who is currently the world no. 3. The Indian fencer revealed that she wants to take learnings from her matches at the Tokyo Olympics and keep improving.

“I was a bit of nervous before the first match. Because it was Olympics. I was a little worried as to how I would start. I started well and continued to maintain that form.”

“I planned each touch and everything was perfect. In the second match, we tried to execute our plans. But the opponent was more experienced and she was able to handle any kind of intense situation. In the first half, she timed her actions well. I adapted in the second half but it was too late. I am happy that I was focused on the match, but also not completely satisfied with my performance. I need to learn and improve more.”

Life after Tokyo Olympics

Bhavani Devi was overwhelmed by the positive messages she received for her performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Indian fencer fought bravely at the Tokyo Olympics

“After the Olympics, I was really surprised to see the positive support from the people and the leaders. I always wanted this kind of support in my career. For me, this was more important than financial support,” she stated.

“This gives you more energy as you will feel good that a country is supporting you. That is what athletes need. Even though it was early in the morning, many people let me know that they woke up to watch the fencing match. That was special,” she added.

Future of Fencing in India

The Indian fencer feels that the sport will continue to grow in popularity in the country due to her appearance in the Olympics.

“I feel it has already impacted. Many people would have already started dreaming about the Olympics. They have understood that India can do better in fencing and will have the confidence to work hard to achieve their dreams. I am sure fencing will develop and we will have more champions in the international level from this sport,” she opined.

Personal goals

Bhavani Devi already has an eye out for the next Olympics, but her next focus is on another tournament that is closer than Paris 2024.

“After the Olympics, we have a lot of competitions. There is Asian Championships, World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Championships and then the next Olympics. I want to continue to do my best. My next goal would be to win an Asian Games medal for the country,” she revealed.

She also extended her warm gratitude to the millions of Indians that supported her. “I want to thank everyone for supporting all athletes. We need all your blessings and I would continue to do better and make my country proud. So, cheers for India,” she signed off.

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