Bhavani Devi, India’s lone fencer at Tokyo Olympics, provided a wonderful start in the fencing women’s sabre round of 64 with an emphatic 15-3 win over Nadia Ben Azizi of Tunisia at the Makuhari Messe Hall on Monday.
Bhavani will take on Manon Brunet of France in the second round at 7.40 a.m. today.
The Indian, ranked 42 in the world, was on an attack mode throughout, and didn’t give any time for her Tunisian opponent to settle down. So much so at the turn, the score was 8-0.
Azizi, an opponent ranked much below Bhavani at 423, took her first point with a touch at 11-1 on Bhavani’s torso when the lndian moved backwards to see off an attack.
Overall, it was a supremely confident Bhavani that one witnessed today. Azizi took two more points towards the end when both fencers mounted an attack at the same tiime, which the referee decided in the 19-year-old’s favour.
Brunet, a 25-year-old will be no pushover for Bhavani. The Frenchwoman had finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has done well in the events leading up to the Tokyo Games.