Tokyo Olympics: Bhavani Devi's profile, ranking, opponents, form guide

Here is the profile, form guide and rivals of the Indian sabre fencer Bhavani Devi, who will be in action at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Training time: C. A. Bhavani Devi, the first-ever fencer to qualify for the Olympics, is training in Italy ahead of the Tokyo Games.   -  Special Arrangement

Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics.

For the sabre fencer to win a berth, South Korea needed t


Event: Sabre

Coach: Nicola Zanetti (Italy)

Form guide: Gold in individual at the 2017 World Cup event in Reykjavik (Iceland); silver at the 2019 Tournoi Satellite tournament in Ghent, Belgium; Gold in the 2018 Commonwealth championship in Canberra, Australia; Reached the round of 16 (draw of 64) in 2019 World championship in Budapest (Hungary).  

Main rivals: Bianca Pascu (Romania), Sophia Pozdniakova (Russia), Gabriella Page (Canada), Caroline Queroli (Fra), Marta Puda (Poland), Renata Katona (Hun), Chika Aoki (Japan), Seona Hwang (Korea), Nour Montaser (Egypt). 

Hailing from a humble middle class family in Chennai, women's sabre fencer C. A. Bhavani Devi rose through myriad trials and tribulations to become India’s first-ever fencer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. The sabre category for women was introduced in the Olympics only in Athens in 2004.

READ: Venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - All you need to know

Bhavani was initiated to the sport through her school--Muruga Dhanushkodi in Std. VI and she showed enthusiasm and love for the sport by winning medals at the State-level early on. However, her parents found it difficult to splurge on the sport when she continued to perform well at the National level. Her father was the only breadwinner--he was a Hindu priest in a temple.

According to Bhavani, the individual bronze in the junior Commonwealth championships in 2012 in St. Helier, Jersey gave her the hope that she could aim higher.

The loss of her father--Anandha Sundhararaman in 2019 a big jolt but with her mother Ramani giving full support to her, Bhavani recovered quickly to focus on the sport. Her induction into the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu’s Elite Scheme for Olympics and support from GoSports Foundation gave her the financial freedom to realise her dreams. 

It would be a creditable achievement if the 27-year-old could pull off a win or two.

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