India’s first Olympic Fencer C A Bhavani Devi on July 28 posted a picture with the World number 1 ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic. Bhavani Devi, won her first match at the Olympics, but then went down in her second match against world no. 3 Manon Brunet. She was praised for her spirit and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed her and called her “an inspiration for our citizens.”
After her loss in the second round, she took to Twitter where she penned an emotional post and apologised for her loss. She wrote, “It was Excitement & Emotional. I won the First Match 15/3 against Nadia Azizi and became the First INDIAN Fencing Player to win a Match at Olympics but in the 2nd Match I lost 7/15 against world top 3 player Manon Brunet. I did my level best but couldn’t win. I am sorry.”
Speaking about the meet with Djokovic, Bhavani said that she spoke to him and tried to pick his brains on being the best when the pressure is raised. Advising her, Djokovic said that in order to be a champion it is imperative to enter any competition brimming with self-confidence and hard work. He cited his own example and said that during his initial years, he kept going down to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but he kept fighting. It was only later on in his career that he learnt to keep his mind calm and control only what was possible. As per Bhavani, she will keep these tips in mind when she faces other challenges.
Bhabani Devi scripted history when she qualified for the Olympics. She then beat Tunisia’s Nadia Azizi 15-3 in the women’s fencing round of the Sixes Four, but went down in the subsequent round.