Chennai fencer Bhavani Devi eyes Olympic glory in 2020https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/chennai-fencer-bhavani-devi-eyes-olympic-glory-in-2020-4772137/

Chennai fencer Bhavani Devi eyes Olympic glory in 2020

Buoyed by her rise in world ranking, Bhavani Devi said she is confident of winning a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. She said that she feels a lot more confident about taking part in the 2020 Olympics as her world ranking has improved from 81 to 36 now.

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Bhavani Devi reached the quarter-finals at the Asian fencing championships at Hong Kong. (Source: File)

Buoyed by her rise in world ranking, Chennai fencer C A Bhavani Devi said she is confident of winning a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. “I feel a lot more confident about taking part in the 2020 Olympics as my world ranking has improved from 81 to 36 now,” she said here on her return after taking part in various tournaments abroad.

“My aim is to win gold medal in 2020 Olympics,” Bhavani Devi, who recently achieved her career-best world ranking of 36 in the sabre category, said.

After having become the first Indian fencer to win gold at the World Cup satellite tournament at Reykjavik in May last, Bhavani reached the quarter-finals at the Asian fencing championships at Hong Kong and was part of the recently-concluded world championships in Leipzig, Germany.

She said the performance in the World Cup satellite meet was a morale-booster and helped her do well in the subsequent tournaments.

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“Definitely the gold medal was a big boost. And when it happens to be the first gold for the country, it will make one proud and make a sportsperson work with more confidence,” she told PTI.

“I started the first competition with a good result (top 64). And from thereon, it kept getting better.. Some were not so good but some were good performances,” the fencer said about her season.

Bhavani has now set her sights on the Asian Games next year in Indonesia and wants to do well.

“My next aim is the Asian Games 2018. So whatever competitions I take part from October (when the next season starts) is preparation for the Asiad,” she said.

She felt working with Italian coach Nicola Zanotti had helped improved her performances.

“Zanotti and me have a good understanding and so that shows in our result after I started working with him. Reaching the top 50 in the world is a good result for me for this year. We now have to work to go to next level in the coming season,” she said.

“I have improved my techniques since I teamed up with Zanotti and hope to do well strategy-wise in the upcoming season.”

“I hope my performances, especially winning a gold medal in an international tournament, will help popularise fencing in the state,” Bhavani said.