The eight-time national champion Bhavani Devi has become the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.
The sabre fencer from Tamil Nadu. Chadalavada Anandha Bhavani Devi created history on March 14 as she became the first Indian fencer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics, 2021.
The 27-year-old qualified for the games through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method. She secured a spot in the Tokyo Olympics at the World Cup in Hungary where the hosts lost in the quarter-finals making South Korea get into the semi-final.
Two individual spots were available for Asia and Oceania region-based fencers as per the World Rankings as of April 5, 2021. Bhavani Devi was ranked 45th and hence, managed to get one of the two available slots based on the ranking.
The fencer received appreciation from the Sports Authority of India on Twitter. "It is a historic moment as @IamBhavaniDevi becomes the 1st ever fencer from India to qualify for the @Olympics in women’s individual sabre on basis of Adjusted Official ranking at the Men’s and Women’s Sabre World Cup in Budapest. Many congratulations!" it tweeted.
First Indian fencer to qualifiy for Tokyo Olympics won her struggles
The victory moment did not come very easy to Bhavani Devi. The eight-time national champion was trying to qualify for the Olympics from 2012. However, she had failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Bhavani Devi was taking training from SAI coach Sagar Lagu at the SAI centre in Thalassery, Kerala from 2008 to 2015.
She had continued taking training in Italy under coach Nicola Zanotti before the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Tokyo Olympics was scheduled for 2020. It had got postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, it is going to be organized from July 23 to August 8 this year.