C.A. Bhavani Devi: The First Indian Fencer to Qualify for Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 brought lot many surprises with a new level of excitement every passing day. Specially for countries like India, it was huge because many of their players performed exceptionally well and cheered the Indian audience with new records.

Sitting miles away, we salute the rigorous efforts and grit of all the sportspersons. While we have so many rising stars from India this time, in this post we will talk about one of the ‘daredevils’ from India Bhavani Devi who has literally introduced India to the world of ‘fencing’. 

Bhavani Devi

Let us visit some of the amazing facts about the lady. She made headlines by qualifying for the Olympic games 2020. Bhavani created a history as she is the only Indian fencer to do so.

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Who is Bhavani Devi?

Bhavani Devi is an Indian Sabre (fencer). Her full name is Chandalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi. She is the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. She holds the honour to enter the top 50 ranking in the world of fencing. 

Bhavani Devi was born on 27 August 1993 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her father C Anandha Sundhararaman is a priest while her mother C A Ramani is a homemaker. She has two brothers and two sisters. She stands as the fifth child of the family.

Bhavani got the encouragement from her mother to pursue a career in a field, which is unconventional in India. Her mother acted as her support system in all the hardships. Her mother left no stones unturned in arranging sponsors and funds for her sake. 

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How did the Journey Begin?

  • Bhavani took her first step towards the rung of fencing in the year of 2004.
  • At that time, she was pursuing her schooling from Muruga Dhanushkodi Girls’ Higher Secondary School. She accidentally joined fencing as a sports option offered by the school.
  • She made a decision to enter the sport when many did not know about it. Bhavani took no time in realising that the journey with fencing gives her immense pleasure. 
  • She used her first electric equipment during a national event. Interestingly in her earlier days as a player, she used to practice with bamboo sticks.
  • Since her national representation which began in 2004, she has been playing sabre professionally. 
  • After finishing her 10th standard, Bhavani joined Sports Authority of India Centre in Thalassery, Kerala. 
  • At the age of 15, she appeared in her first international tournament Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championship at Turkey, 2007.
  • She became the first Indian to win a Gold Medal in an international competition.

Difficulties that Came to Her Way:

  • Her family could not afford her expenses for foreign travels.
  • She missed many international events due to lack of funds.
  • Her mother had to borrow money in order to fulfill her expenses.
  • Bhavani was not that fluent with English. That is how communication in a foreign land became a tedious task.

Bhavani’s Tokyo Olympics Performance:

  • The first ever Indian fencer lasted for two rounds in the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Her campaign started against Tunisia, with a confident win (15-3).
  • But she lost to world number 3, Manon Brunet in the women’s individual sabre event.

Bhavani’s Winning Spree in Different Events:

  • Bronze Medal at 2009 CommonWealth Championship.
  • Bronze in 2010 International Open.
  • Bronze Medal in 2010 Cadet Asian Championship.
  • Bronze in 2010 Asian Championship.
  • Silver and Bronze in 2012 Commonwealth Championship.
  • Silver Medal in 2014 Asian Championship.
  • First Indian to win gold in a world cup event ( in Iceland).
  • Won silver and bronze in Tournoi Satellite Competition, 2019.
  • Gold Medallist at Senior CommonWealth fencing, Australia, 2018.

Basic Details:

FULL NAMEChadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi
Known asBhavani Devi
AGE (AS OF 2021)27 YEARS


Is Bhavani associated with the ‘Rahul Dravid Athlete Internship Program’?


Is Bhavani married?


When did Bhavani win her first gold?

When she was 12. At Sub-Junior Nationals, Chennai.

Who are the role-models for Bhavani?

She is inspired by Sania Mirza and Serena Williams.


The arena of fencing is a new concept for Indians. Bhavani has helped India to carve a niche for this sport internationally. With her spree of achievements and record-breaking performance at Olympics, she is all set to inspire millions of hearts. Bhavani has made Indians to explore the sport which is not generally opted by them.  We wish for her astounding success. May she continue inspiring! 

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