CHENNAI: Bhavani Devi, India’s first fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, won her ninth title at the 31st Senior National fencing championships at Uttarakhand on Saturday evening.
In the women’s sabre final, the 27-year-old from Tamil Nadu beat Kerala’s Joshna Joseph 15-7 to win the title. In the semifinal stage of the competition, Bhavani dominated K Anitha for a 15-4 verdict.
Bhavani got her campaign off to a sturdy start as she easily beat Jaspreet Kaur of Jammu and Kashmir 15-2 in her opening pool match. She had to ward off a tough fight from Telangana’s Baby Reddy, eventually winning 15-14 to get through to the quarterfinals, where she trounced Jagmeet Kaur (Punjab) 15-7.
Meanwhile, Kumaresan Padma Gisho Nidhi (Services) scored an upset victory over defending champion Karan Singh (Rajasthan) to win the men’s sabre individual final.
Avanti Radhika Prakash (Kerala) retained the women’s foil individual crown with a victory over Laishram Khusboorani (Manipur), a bronze medallist last time. Goa’s Chingakham Jetlee Singh, a bronze medal winner in the 2017 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships and a sixth place finisher in the National Championships last year, showed why he is rated as among the most talented Epee exponents with a victory over Rajendran Shanthimol Sherjin (Chhattisgarh) in the final.
Similarly, Arjun (Services) moved up from being a bronze medallist last time to winner of the Foil gold with a victory over K. Bebish while last year’s finalists, Thokchom Bicky (Services) and Harsh Raj (Bihar) had to settle for bronze medals this time after tasting defeats in the respective semifinals.