Bhavani Devi, a pioneer in Indian fencing, is now ranked 28th in the most recent FIE (International Fencing Federation) sabre rankings. She is the first fencer from India to be included in the top 30 in any fencing discipline.
At the Asian Fencing Championships earlier this month, Bhavani had a stellar run of form. She defeated world champion and No. 1 in the world Misaki Emura of Japan 15-10 in the quarterfinals on route to an Indian first bronze medal.
Women’s only other Indian in the top 100 is Taniksha Khatri (epee). In epee, she is rated 93rd. Epee is the most defensive form of fencing, whereas sabre is the fastest and most aggressive. Only one male fencer from India is in the top 100, and he is Karan Singh (67th in sabre).
Even though Asian countries like Japan and Korea have risen to prominence in recent decades, European nations still dominate the sport of fencing. Bhavani Devi was the first Indian to enter the top 50 and has increased her position in the world rankings by 21 positions this month.
She was the first fencer from India to earn a spot in the Olympics, when she lost in Tokyo’s Round of 32.
The following task for Bhavani Devi will be in the World Championships, which will take place in Milan between July 22 and July 30.
At the 2023 Asian Fencing Championships, India’s Bhavani Devi won a historic bronze medal in women’s individual sabre on Monday. India has now won its first medal at a continental competition. The 29-year-old settled for a shared bronze medal with China’s Yang Hengyu after losing a tense quarterfinal match to Zaynab Dayibekova of Uzbekistan 14–15.
“Indian fencing can be quite proud of this day. Bhavani has accomplished what no one else has in the past. She is the first fencer from India to take home a medal from the illustrious Asian Championships. Rajeev Mehta, secretary of the Fencing Association of India, congratulated her on her historic victory “on behalf of the entire fencing fraternity” and expressed the hope that she would bring back gold.
Bhavani Devi had earlier upset Misaki Emura, the third-seeded player, 15-11 to move further in the game. Emura was the current world champion and the number one player in the world.