Fencing: Bhavani Devi becomes first Indian to win Asian Championship medalJune 21, 2023
Fencer CA Bhavani Devi on Monday became the first Indian to win a medal at the Asian Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China.
The 29-year-old from Chennai won a bronze medal in the women’s individual sabre event at the continental tournament after a narrow 15-14 loss in the semi-finals to Uzbekistan’s Zaynab Dayibekova.
She did however, get to the final-four stage of the tournament after scripting impressive wins.
In the quarterfinal, she beat reigning world No 1 Misaki Emura of Japan for the first time in four meetings, earning a 15-10 win over the tournament favourite.
Bhavani, who had become the first fencer from India to qualify for the Olympic Games – at Tokyo 2020 – had received a bye in the Round of 64 but went on to beat Kazakhstan’s Karina Dospay in the second round.
In the pre-quarterfinal, the 2022 Commonwealth Championships gold-medallist faced third seed Seri Ozaki of Japan, but came up with a strong performance to win 15-11.
“It is a proud day for Indian fencing. Bhavani has achieved what no one could achieve before,” Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the Fencing Association of India told PTI.
“She is the first Indian fencer to win a medal at the prestigious Asian Championships. Although she lost in the semifinal, the contest was very close. It was a matter of just point. So it’s a big improvement.”