Tamil Nadu C.A. Bhavani Devi became the first Indian fencer to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. After getting eliminated in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Hungary, Bhavani Devi was qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.
Two individual spots were available for the Asia and Oceania region based on the world rankings as of April 5 this year. Bhavani ranked 45th and grabbed one of the two available slots based on her ranking. However, the official confirmation will be made right after the aforementioned date.
“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!” – Sports Authority of India (SAI).
Bhavani Devi has previously failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics despite being an eight-time national champion. She continued to train under coach Nicola Zanotti in Italy before the qualification process was halted due to the worldwide lockdown. However, the first Indian fencer to win gold in an international event didn’t give up and continued her training with the help of online sessions with her coach.
The Tokyo Olympics was initially scheduled for 2020 but was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to take place this year starting from July 23 to August 8.