CA Bhavani Devi, the first Indian fencer to win the first round at the Olympics, exited the women's individual saber competition at the Tokyo Olympics in a well-fought 7-15 round of 32 matches against France Manon Brunet on Monday.
Tokyo: India's Fencer CA Bhavani Devi is now eyeing Paris 2024, having crashed out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the round of 32 matches.
Chennai's Bhavani Devi, who beat Tunisia's Nadia Ben Azizi 15-3, put up a good fight as Manon, world No. 3 of France, who missed out on a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics five years ago.
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CA Bhavani Devi has tweeted, "Big Day. It was Excitement & Emotional. I won the First Match 15/3 against Nadia Azizi and become the First INDIAN Fencing Player to win a Match at Olympic but 2nd Match I lost 7/15 against world top 3 player Manon Brunet. I did my level best but couldn't win. I am sorry."
"Every end has a beginning, I will continue my practice and definitely work hard to win a medal at the next Olympics in France and make my country proud. I want to thank each one of you who stood by me."
"Hon'ble @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji, @ianuragthakur Sir, @KirenRijiju Sir, Hon'ble CM Tamilnadu @mkstalin Sir, Shri Siva V Meyyanathan Sir, @Media_SAI, SDAT, @GoSportsVoices, TNEB, @achyuta_samanta Sir, @rajeevmehtaioa FAI Family, IOA Family, and FIS family, @KIITUniversity family," she added.
Earlier in the round of 64 matches, Bhavani defeated Ben Azizi Nadia of Tunisia 15-3 in just 6 minutes 14 seconds to become the first Indian in history to win a match at the Olympics. Bhavani continued to dominate the match as the fencer reached 8 points without an answer from the Tunisian youngster in the first half. Even in the second half, Nadia could not stop much. Bhavani Devi was first pumped 'En Garde' and headed all the way.
She added, "Millions of Indian, Special thanks to My Coach Nicola Zanotti, Mental Trainer Angelo Carnemolla and My Mother My Pillar of Strength who came all the way to Olympics watching me live & Motivating and Brothers, Sisters at home praying for me and People of Tamilnadu and Media Houses. Thank you so much I will come back much stronger and successful at the Next Olympics with all your Prayers Jai Hind."
She is the first Indian to win a silver medal at the Asian Championships and a gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships in 2019. She has also won a gold medal in the World Cup event in Paris.
Bhavani had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the individual saber section following the planned official ranking (AOR) method after not participating in the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying event due to COVID-19 restrictions.