There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding India's campaign on Day 3 of the Tokyo Olympics. This was especially after a disastrous first 2 days. But the morning of 26th July has seen a phenomenal start, and this was triggered off with the very first victory of the day. Bhavani Devi won her match and fencing won its first victory in India.
The fencing matches happened in a breeze today. It was almost as if it was an obligation to turn up and was over within 6-7 minutes of the commencement. The commentators did their job, referees saw through the game and the players came and went.
Something that other countries would have missed out on is the fact that this was a special moment for India and was no ordinary victory or fencing match. Bhavani Devi scripted India's first win with a superb score of 15-3. She was leading 8-0 at one point and the Tunisian opponent was no match for her.
Years of training in India and abroad have done wonders to her and this was capped off with an exemplary display of her dedication to the game.
For many Indian sports fans, this is the first time that they are getting to watch Bhavani Devi in action. This in itself is a historic moment that has set India on course to actually recognising a sport that has gone under the radar for the past 110 years.
Indeed, this is the first time since 1896 that India has qualified for fencing and winning a match at the same time is a major feat. 3 years from now, the focus should be to have more fencers qualify for the Olympics.
It has to be taken step by step in order to see the desired results. With more and more Indian athletes taking part in the Olympics every year, it only makes sense to give minor sports the recognition and attention they deserve on an administrative platform.
This win will hopefully set India on course with investing and focusing on fencing as a recognized competitive sport. There is minimal focus on the game as of today and it should be up to the authorities to focus on specialised training centers for children looking to take part.
It is imperative that surge in fencing energy is built upon because this is the only way that our country can expand its horizon to more than one sport.
As for Bhavani Devi, the end of the Tokyo Olympics is just a pit stop on her journey to lead India's fencing charge. She will be back soon and will be stronger and better than before.