CA Bhavani Devi, who recently became the first India fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games, snapped up her ninth title at the 31st Senior National Fencing Championships at the Delhi Public School on Saturday.
Bhavani (Tamil Nadu) easily defeated Jaspreet Kaur (Jammu and Kashmir) 15-2 in her opening pool match in the Women’s Sabre Individual competition. She had to ward off a tough fight from Telangana’s Baby Reddy, eventually winning 15-4 to get through to the quarter-finals, where she trounced Jagmeet Kaur (Punjab) 15-7.
In the semi-finals, Bhavani Devi dominated K Anitha for a 15-4 verdict. Late in the night, she overcame Joshna Joseph (Kerala) 15-7 in the finals to grab the title.
Meanwhile, Kumaresan Padma Gisho Nidhi (Services) scored an upset victory over defending champion Karan Singh (Rajasthan) to win the Men’s Sabre Individual final.
Karan Singh had been in top form, even emerging as the best Indian male performer in the recent Men’ Sabre World Cup in Budapest. In fact, the 20-year-old had scored a stunning 5-4 win over World No 19 Konstantin Lokhanov (Russia) on his way to the knockout stage too. He couldn’t emulate that form, though, in the Nationals.
Avanti Radhika Prakash (Kerala) retained the Women’s Foil Individual crown with a victory over Laishram Khusboorani (Manipur), a bronze medallist last time. Thoibi Wanglembam Devi, runner-up in New Delhi last year, and her Manipur team-mate Phamdom Anita Chanu, took the bronze medals.
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.
The results (finals only):
Women’s Foil Individual: 1. Avanti Radhika Prakash (Kerala); 2. Laishram Khusboorani (Manipur); 3. Phamdom Anita Chanu (Manipur) and Thoibi Wanglembam Devi (Manipur).
Men’s Sabre Individual: 1. Kumaresan Padma Gisho Nidhi (Services); 2. Karan Singh (Rajasthan); 3. Prince (Haryana) and Abhay Shinde (Maharashtra).
Men’s Foil Individual: 1. Arjun (Services); 2. Bibish Kathiresan (Tamil Nadu); 3. Harsh Raj (Bihar) and Thokchom Bicky (Services).
Men’s Epee Individual: 1. Chingakham Jetlee Singh (Goa); 2. Rajendran Shanthimol Sherjin (Chhattisgarh); 3. Pankaj Kumar Sharma (Services) and SN Siva Magesh (Chhattisgarh).