Want to give my best performance in Tokyo Olympics: Bhavani Devi

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Bhavani Devi (Photo/ Kiren Rijiju Twitter)
Bhavani Devi (Photo/ Kiren Rijiju Twitter)

New Delhi [India], March 17 (ANI): After becoming the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics, Bhavani Devi on Wednesday said she just wants to enjoy every process from now till the Tokyo Games and is aiming to give her best performance in the prestigious quadrennial event.

The 27-year-old has qualified for the Olympics through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) method.

"I want to give my best performance in the Olympics. I don't put any limit on my achievement, I want to enjoy everything and every process that I'm going to do from now till the Olympics. I want to give the best performance in front of the whole world and want to make my country proud," Devi said in a virtual press conference.

"Since it was the first time for me, I had put in double efforts. I didn't know if it is important to go for all competitions or not so I just don't want to miss out on anything. I tried my best and went for all competitions and gave my best in each competition. I played even with injuries just to improve my rankings and all those sacrifices and efforts from me and my family from the federation, coaches helped me," she added.

Fencing Association of India President Rajeev Mehta said that Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has given all the support to the federation.

"All credit goes to Bhavani as she worked really hard. Fencing Association of India is supporting her in every possible way. Sports Minister Rijiju has done an extraordinary job for the fencing in the history of the Indian sports," Mehta said.

"We are opening 50 fencing academies at the national level and will take 30 students in each one of them. At the district level, we will open 50 centers before March 31 this year. The Sports Minister has also asked us to spend Rs 20 crores before the end of this month. I think this is the first time in India, we are getting government support. We are hoping that two-three more players will qualify for the next Olympics," he added.

Tokyo Olympics are set to take place from July 23 to August 8 this year. Whereas, the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5. The Games were scheduled to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (ANI)