CHENNAI: CA Bhavani Devi has scripted history by becoming the first-ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Tamil Nadu girl, a sabre fencer booked her berth in the World Cup in Hungary, Budapest after the hosts lost in the quarter-finals of the team event, allowing South Korea to progress to the semi-final.
Devi has qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.
Based on the World Rankings of April 5, 2021, two individual spots were available for the Asia and Oceania region. Devi holds the 45th rank and occupies one of the two available slots based on the ranking. However, the 27-year-old's qualification will be confirmed when the rankings are made official on the aforementioned date.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter to congratulated Bhavani Devi on her qualifying for the Olympics.
"Congratulations to Indian fencer Bhavani Devi who has qualified for Tokyo Olympics! She has become the 1st ever Indian fencer to achieve the feat. My best wishes to @IamBhavaniDevi," he tweeted.
In another tweet Rijiju thanked Devi's coach Sagar Lagu, Go Sports- a sport funding group and other team members for the feat.
"The 1st ever fencer from India to qualify for the @Olympics in women's individual sabre, Bhavani Devi is trained by our SAI coach Sagar Lagu in SAI Training Center, Thalassery and actively supported by @GoSportsVoices Thank you @DeepthiBopaiah and team!" said Rijiju.
Earlier, the eight-time national champion had failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. However, she was adamant to book her berth in the next Olympics. Accordingly, her endeavours have led her to secure qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. She trained underwent training in Italy under coach Nicola Zanotti before the COVID-19 -induced shutdown halted the qualification process.
The Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held in 2020 were put off owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and are scheduled to take place from 23 July to 8 August this year.