A few months ago Bhavani Devi became the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Summer Games after he cemented her slot for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. She recently expressed that she is looking forward to the challenge in Tokyo.
“It will be the first time when most of our country will watch Fencing and will watch me play, so will give my best performance in front of them,” she said.
Bhavani won her Olympics quota through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) method after the World Cup held in Budapest in March. It has been a milestone for her long journey as she started her training with bamboo sticks and now she is here as the first person to represent the country in Fencing. Although she is focused to do well on the big stage, her excitement of being the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics has not died away.
The current COVID-19 pandemic won’t allow her to participate in multiple competitions. However, she will still continue her training in Italy before travelling to Japan for the big event. Inducted into the Target Olympic Podium Scheme in April, the 27-year-old is now attending a special training camp with the Italian National team.
She has always been very thankful to her parents for their support throughout her fencing career. Her late father was a priest and her mother is a homemaker hence she has emerged from a humble beginning but there was no shortage of encouragement. “Only because of my parents, I was able to push myself harder to overcome difficulties,” she said during a media interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India.
Bhavani Devi remarked, “My mother always encouraged me. She would tell me If today is not good, tomorrow will be better. If you give 100 percent, you will definitely get the result. Even from her hospital bed when she was recovering from Covid-19, she told me to focus on my dream and play in the Budapest World Cup rather than return home to be with her.”
She admitted how a lot of people used to discourage her to leave fencing as they thought she was not capable of reaching the Olympics qualifications. But her parents motivated her to carry on when she was on the verge of leaving.
“When my ranking wasn’t close to the qualification, people used to ask why is she investing so much time in the sport. She’s a woman, she could get an education and think of getting a job. I didn’t get encouragement from outside, my mother and father told me to not worry,” Bhavani Devi signed off.