No Tokyo joy for Indian fencers at Asian qualifiers in Tashkent

The tournament in Uzbekistan was the Indian fencers’ last opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Getty Images

Indian fencers failed to clinch any Tokyo Olympic spots from the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as none progressed beyond the quarter-final stages of their respective events.

After Bhavani Devi created history by becoming the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics at the Fencing World Cup in Italy last month, India had one final opportunity to add to its fencing contingent for Tokyo at the Asian qualifiers.

The April 25-26 event had six Tokyo Olympics quota places - three each for men and women - on offer. The five-member Indian team, however, failed to make the most of this opportunity.

Sunil Kumar, in men’s epee, and Radhika Avati, in women’s foil, made it to the quarter-finals but the remaining three - Karan Singh (men’s sabre), Thokchom Bicky (men’s foil) and Kavita Devi (women's epee) – bowed out early.

The results mean that Bhavani Devi (women’s sabre) will be the only Indian fencer who will be travelling to Tokyo.