Chennai, Mar 14 (PTI) Tamil Nadu's C A Bhavani Devi has become the first ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The sabre fencer secured a spot in the World Cup in Hungary after the hosts lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing South Korea to progress to the semi-final.
Bhavani Devi qualifies through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.
Two individual spots were up for grabs for the Asia and Oceania region based on the World Rankings as of April 5, 2021. She is ranked 45th and occupies one of the two available slots based on the ranking.
The 27-year-old's qualification will be confirmed when the rankings are made official on the aforementioned date.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju congratulated Bhavani Devi on her qualifying for the Olympics.
'Congratulations to Indian fencer Bhavani Devi who has qualified for Tokyo Olympics! She has become the 1st ever Indian fencer to achieve the feat. My best wishes to @IamBhavaniDevi,' he tweeted.
The eight-time national champion had failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
However, she stepped up efforts to secure qualification for the Tokyo games and continued to train abroad in Italy under coach Nicola Zanotti before the COVID-19-induced shutdown halted the qualification process.
The Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held in 2020 were put off owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 this year. PTI SS KHS KHS