Bhavani Devi is the only player who represented India in Fencing at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi, popularly known as Bhavani Devi got a perfect start as she won her first match. Bhavani registered her win against Tunisia’s Nadia Ben Azizi.
Her historic win against Nadia Ben Azizi by 15-3 led to the maiden win of a fencing match in the Olympics for India. She achieved this feat in a record time of 6 minutes and 14 seconds. The Indian athlete is ranked as 42 as per FIE (Fédération Internationale d’Escrime), whereas her Tunisian counterpart is ranked 384.
Bhavani Devi in Tokyo Olympics
Although she got a fabulous start, Bhavani’s journey in Tokyo Olympics 2021 has come to an end. She lost her next match to a French player, Manon Brunet. However, Manon Brunet is the world’s number three player in the sport. Brunet was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Moreover, Bhavani lost to the French athlete by 7-15.
Post her loss, Bhavani has tweeted, ‘Big Day. It was Excitement & Emotional. I won the First Match 15/3 against Nadia Azizi and become the First INDIAN Fencing Player to win a Match at Olympic but 2nd Match I lost 7/15 against world top 3 player Manon Brunet. I did my level best but couldn’t win. I am sorry.’
In another tweet, she says, ‘Every end has a beginning, I will continue my practice and definitely work hard to win a medal at the next Olympics in France and make my country proud. I want to thank each one of you who stood by me.’
Bhavani further writes, ‘Millions of indian, Special thanks to My Coach Nicola Zanotti, Mental Trainer Angelo Carnemolla and My Mother My Pillar of Strength who came all the way to Olympics watching me live & Motivating and Brothers, Sisters at home praying for me and People of Tamilnadu and Media Houses.’
She concludes, ‘Thank you so much i will come back much stronger and successful at Next Olympics with all your Prayers. Jai Hind.’
Bhavani will surely inspire generations of budding athletes in fencing.