CA Bhavani Devi

India IND

Fencing

  • Games participations
    1
  • First Olympic Games
    Tokyo 2020
  • Year of Birth
    1993
Olympic Results

Biography

CA Bhavani Devi

A multiple international medallist, Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi is the flag-bearer for fencing in India.

The finest moment of her career came on 26 July 2021, when Bhavani Devi made history by becoming the first Indian fencer to compete at the Olympics.

Bhavani Devi made a winning start, pulling off a dominant 15-3 victory over Tunisia’s Nadia Ben Azizi in the women’s sabre round of 64. She then fell to eventual bronze-medallist, Manon Brunet of France in the round of 32.

In the process, Bhavani Devi introduced India to the world of fencing, one she herself began competing in at 10 years old.

Born on August 27, 1993 in Chennai, India, Bhavani Devi had an affinity for sports, playing squash, volleyball and fencing in her younger years.

Bhavani Devi, however, focussed on fencing and her talent was apparent soon enough as she regularly made it to the advanced stages of competitions. 

A supportive system comprising her parents and school, which allowed Bhavani to skip exams to compete in more events, played a big part in her rise.

Bhavani Devi’s talent attracted the attention of coach Sagar Lagu and he invited her to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Thalassery, Kerala, one of the few places which offered training facilities for fencing in India.

Bhavani Devi’s first medal at the international stage came with a team bronze at the 2009 Junior Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia. Her first individual medal came three years later, another bronze, at the 2012 Junior Commonwealth Championships in the USA.

Bhavani Devi won her first international gold medal at the 2014 Tuscany Cup in Italy and won silver and bronze in successive U-23 Asian Championships in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In 2016, after seven years of training at SAI, Bhavani Devi decided to shift her training base to Livorno, Italy - a region with a storied history in fencing - to work with coach Nicola Zanotti. It gave her better exposure as Bhavani sparred with top European fencers.

The move was instrumental in teaching Bhavani Devi the technical side of the sport, like how to use and control her natural speed and the nuances in gauging an opponent’s strategy.

Her first senior international tournament was a heartbreak - Bhavani Devi was shown a black card, the highest penalty in the sport, for turning up three minutes late for her bout. She had been put up in a hotel far from the venue and had lost time travelling.

However, Bhavani Devi soon put that disappointment behind her with a gold medal at the 2017 Women’s World Cup satellite tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland - India’s first senior international gold in fencing.

Bhavani Devi followed it up with a silver and bronze in individual events at the 2018 Women’s World Cup and also won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Championships.

In March 2021, Bhavani Devi confirmed her spot for the Tokyo Olympics through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) to make history for Indian fencing.

Having already made rapid strides, Bhavani Devi will be looking to make an even bigger impact on the global stage and establish India as a competitor in fencing.

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Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 2020

#31
Women's Sabre Individual
Women's Sabre Individual Fencing