In the spotlight Children

Golden debut

CHAMP: A show of strength.

CHAMP: A show of strength.  

Chennai born Bhavani Devi India’s first Indian woman fencer to win a gold medal at the Turnoi Satellite World Cup is set to rule the charts.

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle,” said American author Napoleon Hill. Indian fencing champion, C. A. Bhavani Devi, bears testimony to Hill’s statement. Last week, she became the first Indian woman fencer to win a gold medal at the Turnoi Satellite World Cup.

An elated Bhavani said, “It means a lot to me considering it is my third attempt at a Satellite Tournament. It was a tough route to the final, beating Chile in the quarter-finals, and Great Britain in the semi-finals was not an easy task. I am glad to have overcome this barrier and won the gold.”

Born on August 27, 1993 in Chennai, she did her schooling at Muruga Dhanushkodi Girls Higher Secondary, Chennai. In 2004, she had her first brush with fencing while at school. After completing Std. X, she joined Indian fencing coach Sagar Lagu’s training academy, the SAI Centre in Thalassery, Kerala. At 14, she appeared at her first international tournament in Turkey. She bagged a bronze in the Asian Championship in the Philippines, in 2010. She also won bronze medals in the International Open, Thailand in 2010, International Championship, Philippines in 2010; Common Wealth Championship, Jersey, in 2012, Asian Championship, Mangolia, in 2015 and in the Flemish Open. In 2015, she became one of the 15 athletes selected ‘Go Sports Foundation’ for the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme.

Jumping hurdles

Success did not come easy for Bhavani; she has faced her share of struggles, over the years. She elaborates on how fencing requires a lot of infrastructure for training — something she lacked. Lack of funds meant Indian fencers wouldn’t get foreign exposure as teams were not sent for international competitions.

Bhavani says that she was financed either by her family or found sponsors to attend competitions and train abroad. She went on to speak of how important it was for sports persons to have a coach as he would be able to point out what could be done better and which areas needed improvement. “All teams abroad have their own personal coaches and physiotherapists. Because of lack of funds, I don’t have coach’s support during competitions,” she adds.

However, nothing can deter the determined fencer. She is all set to participate in the Asian championship which will take place from June 15 to 20 , 2017.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:31:48 PM |

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