Tokyo-bound fencer Bhavani Devi is training with the Italian national team as part of preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics that begins on July 23, later this year. The Chennai-based athlete created history earlier this year, becoming the first-ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Games.
Most of the Indian athletes are away for international assignments or training overseas to ramp up preparations ahead of the Games. Indian fencer Bhavani Devi is not an exception. In fact, she trained with the Italian national team last month in Livorno in three instalments of one-week programmes.
The Italian women’s team ranks second in the world in sabre events, while training with them has been a huge development in the build-up to the Tokyo event. Apart from Bhavani Devi, fencers from Ukraine and Greece also featured in the training programmes.
“I am just very thankful to have the opportunity to train with their national team. They were very welcoming and the sessions have been very productive. It is about staying in the best possible shape mentally and physically. The sessions at the moment are all about making sure I am in the right space by the time the Olympics arrives,” said Bhavani Devi, reported Times of India.
Technically, no countries would allow foreign athletes to train with their athletes on the brink of an Olympics, but Bhavani Devi is not a stranger to the Italians. In fact, Bhavani has been training in Livorno for the past few years and has developed a bond with the local fencers, which cleared the road for the Chennai-based athlete.