- C. A. Bhavani Devi makes history, winning India’s first-ever medal at the Asian Fencing Championship by defeating the world champion Misaki Emura.
- Bhavani defeated top-ranked fencer Misaki in a thrilling quarterfinal match.
- Despite a close loss in the semifinals, Bhavani earns a bronze medal and receives praise for her historic achievement in Indian fencing.
Monday’s Asian Fencing Championship quarterfinal witnessed C. A. Bhavani Devi create history by defeating Misaki Emura, the current world champion, and winning India its first-ever medal at the competition.
To make it to the women’s sabre semifinal, the Indian fencer defeated the top-ranked fencer in the world 15-10. Bhavani had previously lost each of her three encounters with Misaki prior to this match.
Bhavani Devi stated that beating a few of the top-ranked players in the world was her dream, and she was overjoyed to defeat Misaki. “It was a great moment becoming the first Indian to win a medal for the country in the Asians. Beating Misaki was huge because she is a very good and consistent fencer. I had lost in the round of 16 to Misak in the previous Asians. I had a plan and it worked,” Bhavani said to Sportstar.
Bhavani, however, was defeated by Zaynab Dayibekova of Uzbekistan 15-14 in the semifinals, earning a bronze medal. At 14–14, Bhavani was sent off for an “early start” by the referee. Both players had been issued yellow cards earlier in the game. As a matter of fact, Bhavani requested a video referral, but the referee denied her request on the basis that a reference can only be made in the event of “blade contact.”
The 29-year-old had a bye in round 64 before defeating Kazakhstan’s Dospay Karina in round 32. In the preliminary quarterfinals, she later defeated third seed Ozaki Seri 15-11.
Rajeev Mehta, secretary general of the Fencing Association of India, congratulated Bhavani on her historic achievement.
“It is a very proud day for Indian fencing. Bhavani has achieved what no one could achieve before. She is the first Indian fencer to win a medal at the prestigious Asian Championships. On behalf of the entire fencing fraternity, I congratulate her,” Mehta said to PTI.
He further said, “Although she lost in the semifinal, the contest was very close. It was a matter of just point. So it’s a big improvement.”
The Tokyo Olympian is currently preparing for the World Championships, which will take place in Milan from July 22 to July 30.