Bhavani Devi: More women will take up sports as a career from now on

Bhavani Devi, the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, is also confident that more players will take up fencing as a career soon.

Bhavani hopes to see more women take up sports as a career in India.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Bhavani Devi, the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, is confident that more players will take up fencing as a career soon and that there will be an improvement in female participation.

After South Korea finished in the top four of the team event of the World Cup in Budapest, Bhavani earned a Tokyo qualification by claiming one of two individual spots reserved for Asia & Oceania via Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR). Bhavani pointed out the struggles she faced during the initial years and credited her family for the constant support.

Olympics qualification could put India on fencing map, feels Bhavani Devi  

"I am happy to become the first Indian and woman to qualify for the Olympic games in fencing. There had been a lot of struggle in the beginning but since I had faced a lot of obstacles and had overcome those with the help of my family, I started getting support from different sources, and with the help from their support, I could achieve this. It's not a result of Bhavani. It's a result for the whole fencing community," said Bhavani.

READ | Bhavani Devi becomes first Indian fencer to qualify for 2021 Tokyo Olympics

"Sports Authority of India, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Ministry of Sports, and now everyone is supporting fencing. Fencing is been included in priority sports. I am sure from now onwards more people will take up fencing as a career," she added.

Bhavani hopes to see more women take up sports as a career in India. While acknowledging how P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and P.T. Usha have changed the landscape for women in sports, she emphasised that participation from women was still less."When I started, there were many students, but I was the only one who continued on the fencing path, and all credit goes to my family as they never said no to fencing. They understood the passion I had for this sport," Bhavani said. "Sports in India is still considered as a career for men and not for women. Now it's slowly changing. I am sure from now on, women will take up sports as a career," she added.