While analysing her performance at the Tokyo Olympics, India fencer Bhavani Devi said Tuesday that she is satisfied with her performance and will use the lessons learned to improve in upcoming tournaments.
Bhavani lost 15-7 to France’s Manon Brunet in the Round of 32 match of women’s individual sabre on Monday. The seasoned French fourth seed easily won the match following Bhavani’s victory over Tunisia’s Ben Azizi Nadia to become the first Indian to win a fencing match at the Olympics.
“Personally, I felt as though I had given my all. Naturally, I was disappointed following the second round; I had always desired to win a medal for India. It’s not just for the Olympics; I want to win medals in every sport. You learn from your mistakes, and I accept my performance in these Olympics. I am grateful for the experiences I gained throughout the process “Bhavani stated in an interview with ANI on Tuesday.
“You improve with each competition, and the road to the Olympics was not easy. I worked hard and eventually represented India at the Olympics; I’ve learned a lot, and I’m determined to improve in future tournaments “she continued.
When asked how she felt after defeating Nadia in the Round of 64, Bhavani stated: “Without a doubt, qualifying for the first time and then winning for the first time provides all athletes with the motivation to perform better in subsequent events. It’s not just about round one or two for me; I’m always after that medal. Regardless, I was eliminated in Round 32, but the encouragement I received from the public and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi motivated me and gave me the energy to work harder and perform better in future tournaments.”
Bhavani faced Brunet in the Round of 32 after defeating Nadia. This was a difficult fixture, but Bhavani impressed everyone with her tenacity.
“We were aware that I would face this athlete in the Round of 32, and thus devised some strategies. I began with those plans; she performed better in the first half; I altered a few key moments in the second half, and I earned points. I executed a strong defence in 2-3 plans; my strategy was sound, but I was perhaps a little nervous “”I’m 27 years old,” the 27-year-old stated.
“I need to maintain that momentum for the duration of the match, not just for a few points. Fencing is quite fast; you must constantly adjust your tactics and gain an understanding of your opponent. I am content with the knowledge I have gained while here “she continued.
When asked about government assistance for her education, Bhavani stated: “I was accepted into the TOPS Scheme in April, and their assistance was invaluable during the final four months of my training. We had been training alongside the Italian national team, attending all of their national camps. They arranged for me to attend a special camp in France two weeks before the Olympics.”
“That was a very intense camp; I’ve improved significantly over the last few months as a result of participating in more camps. Since 2015, the Tamil Nadu government has supported me, as has the Sports Authority of India. I received support from the right people at the right time, which aided in my preparations for the Olympics “she continued.
India has won just one medal thus far in the ongoing Olympics, courtesy of weightlifter Mirabai Chanu’s silver. According to Bhavani, this Olympics has already been memorable for the entire Indian delegation.
“It’s only been a few days since the Olympics began, but many of them won their first-ever match in the first round, which is a step forward. Additionally, we have new athletes and some new disciplines, such as fencing, that are seeing our representation for the first time at this Olympics. We are making good progress, but we need to work a little harder to reach the podium. Our top athletes still have matches to play, and I am confident they will perform admirably “Bhavani stated.
“To begin, I am overjoyed that the Olympics were held. If this had not occurred, it would have been extremely sad for all athletes. We must adhere to numerous rules and restrictions, we must follow procedures everywhere, and there are numerous procedures that we must follow. However, everything is fine with me. I’ve worked extremely hard over the last 15 years, which is why I’ve finally qualified for the Olympics. I participated in the Olympics and am overjoyed about it “She apologised.