For the 19th edition of the Asian Games, India’s fencing squad is stronger than ever with Tokyo Olympian C. A. Bhavani Devi, who has been performing uphill for the last few years, leading the contingent. Along with Bhavani Devi, the men’s and women's teams will participate in team Foil and team epee events.
Fencing is the European swordsmanship sport, featuring three events played with different types of weapons - foil, epee, and sabre. The Indian contingent will participate in three major events with different forms of weapons at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. India’s future in fencing is on the brighter side and expectations of medals are rising with each passing day.
India Fencing squad:
Women's Individual Sabre - C. A. Bhavani Devi
Men’s Team Foil - Arjun, Dev, Bibish Kathireshan, Akash Kumar
Women's team epee - Taniksha Khatri, Ena Arora, Yashkeerat Kaur, and Jyotika Dutta
Women's Individual Sabre - 26th September, Tuesday
(9 AM IST quarterfinals, 6:30 PM IST semifinals, and 8:20 pm finals)
Men’s Team Foil - 27th September, Wednesday
(9 AM IST direct elimination, 12 PM IST semifinals, and 6 PM IST finals)
Women's team epee - 27th September, Wednesday
(1 PM IST direct elimination, 6 PM IST semifinals, and 7:05 PM IST finals)
Bhavani Devi | Individual Women Sabre | World Rank 32 | Asian Rank 7 | Points- 47.500 | Predicted Finish: Bronze
C.A. Bhavani Devi, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, is India’s star sabre fencer. She made history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal at the senior Commonwealth Fencing Championship in Canberra in the sabre event. For this edition’s Asian Games, Bhavani will be competing in the individual category of sabre. It is quite likely that Bhavani will bring home a medal as she is one of the strongest fencers in Asia.
Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to win a medal in the Asian Fencing Championships held in Wuxi, China, this year in June. Bhavani defeated world champion Misaki Emura of Japan 15-10 in the quarterfinals. She ranked third behind Zaynab Dayibekova of Uzbekistan and Yoon Ji-su of South Korea after going down in the semifinals.
The Tamil Nadu athlete was not part of the Indian contingent in the 2018 Asian Games, but she was the silver medallist in 2014 and bronze medalist of the 2015 U23 Asian Championships. We can anticipate a medal-winning performance from her this year as she has emerged as one of the strongest fencers in Asia.
Arjun, Dev, Bibish Kathireshan, and Akash Kumar | Men’s Foil Team | World Rank- 34 | Asian Rank- 7 | Points- 34.000 | Predicted Finish: Semifinal
This year India has sent a team for the men’s event. In the previous edition, the Indian men's team was not part of the Asian games. At the Hangzhou Games, the Indian men’s team will participate in the foil event. The Indian men’s team is ranked 7th in Asia behind table toppers Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei. However, the team could not advance to the Round of 16 in the World Fencing Championships 2022. But there are high chances that the Indian team would at least clear the direct elimination round and reach the semifinals and there are even minute chances to compete in finals.
Taniksha Khatri, Ena Arora, Yashkeerat Kaur, and Jyotika Dutta | Women's Team épée | World Rank- 30 | Asian Rank- 7 | Points- 56.000 | Predicted Finish: Semifinal
The Indian women’s epee team competed in the Jakarta Asian Games four years ago, with two fencers, Ena Arora, and Jyotika Dutta, part of the Hangzhou Games as well. The women’s epee team gave their best in the Round of 16 by defeating Indonesia by a great margin but couldn’t advance to the semifinals due to their loss to China.
The Indian women’s epee team is ranked 7th in Asia behind the number one team in South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Singapore. The Indian team was ranked 26th in the 2023 World Fencing Championships and couldn’t advance to R16 after being defeated by China. There was also a similar performance in the 2022 World Championships, where the team couldn't advance to R16 due to their loss to Germany. We could anticipate the Indian team reaching the semifinals and finals by current ranking and improving performances.
India Fencing at the 2018 Asian Games
Jas Seerat Singh and Jyotika Dutta competed in the individual epee, Jyotika advanced to the quarterfinals but Jas Seerat couldn’t qualify for the R16.
India’s women's epee team participated as well but could not reach the semifinals.
India Fencing: Asian Games records
India has never won a medal in fencing at the Asian Games.