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Senior Nationals Fencing C’ship: Olympian Bhavani Devi defeats V Sunny Alka to bag women’s individual sabre gold

Olympian Bhavani Devi bagged the gold medal in the women’s individual sabre category at the 33rd Senior National Fencing Championship at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Sunday. It was a double delight for Bhavani Devi as her team Tamil Nadu also won the gold in the women’s sabre team event by outplaying Kerala 45-34 in the final.

Bhavani Devi clinched gold in the women’s individual sabre event.(HT Image)

In the women’s sabre individual category, Bhavani Devi, the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics, clinched her 11th national title after she outplayed V Sunny Alka of Kerala 15-9 in a pulsating summit clash.

Bhavani had stormed into the final by prevailing over Punjab’s Jagmeet Kaur 15-11, while V Sunny Alka got the better of Haryana’s Aakhiri 15-9 in another semi-final. Bhavani got a walk-over in the round of 64 and then she defeated Ritu Prajapati 15-3 in a lop-sided contest in the round of 32.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Bhavani stamped her authority as she outclassed Punjab’s Husanpreet Kaur 15-2. In the quarter-finals, Rishika Khajuria was once again no match for Bhavani, who easily won 15-7. In the senior women’s foil category, Kerala’s Radhika Awati won the gold medal, beating state-mate VP Kanagalakshmi 15-8.

Radhika had defeated Jammu and Kashmir’s Riya Bakshi 15-6 in the first semi-final, while Kanagalakshmi got the better of Manipur’s Mina Naorem 15-7 in the second semi-final. In the women’s sabre team category, Tamil Nadu, comprising Bhavani Devi, JS Jefarlin, M Tamil Selvi, M R Beni Quebha, won the gold medal after outclassing Kerala 45-34 in the final.

The Kerala team comprised Christy Jose Jona, Reesha Puthussary, S Sowmiya and V Sunny Alka. In the men’s foil individual category, Manipur’s Hemash Sanasam won the gold medal after he defeated Ismile Khan (SSCB) in the final 13-12.

Sanasam had marched into the final after overcoming the challenge of Bihar’s Akash Kumar 15-13, while Ismile Khan, who ended as runner-up, made it to the summit clash by defeating Haryana’s Dev 15-14 in another semi-final.

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