India’s first fencer to qualify for the Olympics – Bhavani Devi, asserted that she is going to give her absolute best at the Tokyo Games. The Chennai-based athlete revealed how she accidentally took up fencing during her schooldays and the financial struggles she had to go through during her career.
Bhavani Devi became an overnight sensation by becoming the first-ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games, having qualified for the Sabre event. It was not a smooth ride for the athlete, especially in a country where the sport is not popular and not many taking a keen interest in the same. During a virtual press conference from Italy, she asserted to give her absolute best in Tokyo and forget about the odds stacked against her.
"I want to give my absolute best at the Tokyo Olympics and am not going to restrict myself in thinking about what I can or cannot achieve in the global event. The possibilities are limitless,” said Bhavani Devi.
Surprisingly, Bhavani took up the sport by accident during her schooldays. In fact, the students were divided into groups and asked to select a sport of their choice. When Bhavani’s turn came, she was left with nothing but fencing, which began her tryst with the discipline. It being an expensive sport, the Chennai-based fencer used bamboo sticks for training during early days, while using proper swords only during competitions.
"It was a very expensive sport and I was scared that I would not be allowed if they got to know that I came from a poor family. Even then, as the equipment was so costly and difficult to acquire, we used to practice with bamboo sticks and use proper swords only during competitions," added the fencer.