FENCER BHAVANI DEVI BECOMES FIRST INDIAN TO WIN GOLD IN INTERNATIONAL EVENT

Blog By : Riya Rathore

Indian fencer Bhavani Devi struck gold in the Turnoi Satellite Fencing Championship at Reykjavik (Iceland). Bhavani Devi, who hails from Chennai, defeated Great Britain’s Sarah Jane Hampson 15-13. En route to the final, she also defeated Jessica Corby 15-11 in the semifinal.With this win, Bhavani Devi has also become the first Indian to win a gold medal in an international fencing event. She had previously won a silver medal. “This is my third time in this competition. I have lost in quarterfinals in previous years. Now I have won my first medal. It is also the first medal in world level competition as I have won medals in Asian and Commonwealth  championships,” a delighted Bhavani told PTI from Reykjavik. Bhavani Devi made the country proud on Saturday after she bagged a gold medal in the sabre event of the Women’s Satellite Fencing Championship held in Reykjavik. This was Bhavani’s maiden gold as well as India’s first at an international fencing event. The 23-year-old from Chennai, who had previously also won medals for India at Commonwealth meets and U-23 Asian Championships, was only competing at her third satellite event. She managed to make it to the finals overcoming tough opponents from Chile and Great Britain before beating Sarah Jane Hampson (also from Great Britain), 15-13 in the final. Reflecting on her performance, Bhavani said, “I am extremely delighted with this medal. It means a lot to me considering it is my third attempt at a Satellite Tournament. It was a tough route to the final, beating Chile in the quarter-finals and Great Britain in the semi-finals was not an easy task. I am glad to have overcome this barrier and won the gold,” she said. “ I would like to thank my coach Sagar Lagu who has set me up to reach the international level and succeed and my Italian coach Nicola Zanotti who has stuck by my corner over the past year and a half I would also like to thank the GoSports Foundation who have taken care of my sporting needs and supported me whenever I needed them,” she added. Bhavani, who trains out of Livorno in Italy, is currently in Moscow ahead of the next Fencing Grand Prix to be held between June 2 to June 5. Immediately after her event, she will be travelling to Hong Kong to compete at the 2017 Asian Fencing Championships, between June 15 to June 20. Bhavani will aim to come back with a top 4 finish from her event in Hong Kong.

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Manpreet Kaur, Govindan Laxmanan win gold in Asian Athletics Championships

blog by riya rathore

India’s Manpreet Kaur claimed the gold medal in the women’s shot put, while defending champion Vikas Gowda failed to retain his title in the men’s discus throw event on the opening day of the Asian Athletics Championships at the Kalinga Stadium on Thursday. Manpreet, who won gold with a throw of 18.28 metres, will now focus on the IAAF World Championships in London next month. She had booked her ticket for the Worlds in April, during the Asian Grand Prix in China, with a throw of 18.86m.The thrower from Punjab said that the gold-winning performance at the Asian meet was a big bonus and a confident boost. “I was confident of winning the title on home soil and was mentally prepared to cross the 18m mark,” said a beaming Manpreet. There was bit of pressure but I settled down as the event progressed.” The overall performance, a big morale booster, will help her at the Worlds. “My performance today will help me mentally gear up to face stiff challenge in the global competition,” she added.Following Manpreet’s gold, Laxmanan emerged triumphant in the men’s 5,000 metres. He had to struggle hard for his gold medal after he was trailing the leading four runners towards the end of the second last lap but produced a stunning sprint finish over the final 300 metres to win by a handsome margin. Asian athletics bosses are looking to revamp competition in the region to ensure top names don’t stay away from the continental championships, Qatar’s Asian Athletics Association president, Gen Dalhan Al Hamad, said on Wednesday.

None of the top Chinese or Japanese athletes are in the fray for the meet starting in the Orissa capital on Thursday, while Mutaz Essa Barshim, world’s best high jumper from Hamad’s own backyard too will skip the event as he prepares for next month’s world championships in London. It downgrades the competition as well as denies the fans the chance to see top athletes in action. We discussed the issue in the Council and it was insisted that all top stars should compete in the continent’s competition. We are looking for a quick solution,’’ the AAA chief told the media.

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