The trailblazer of fencing in India, Bhavani Devi, has risen to 28th in the latest FIE (International Fencing Federation) sabre rankings. She is the first Indian fencer to be ranked in the top 30 in any category of fencing.
Bhavani enjoyed a superb run of form at the Asian Fencing Championships earlier this month, beating world champion and world rank one Misaki Emura of Japan 15-10 in the quarter finals on way to a bronze medal, a historic first for India.
Among women, Taniksha Khatri (epee) is the only other Indian in the top 100. She is ranked 93rd in epee. While saber is the quickest, most aggressive style of fencing, epee is the most defensive.
Karan Singh (67th in saber) is the only male fencer from India in the top 100.
Fencing is a sport mostly dominated by European nations, though Asian nations like Japan and Korea have come up in recent decades.
Bhavani Devi, who has jumped 21 spots this month in the world rankings, was also the first Indian to break into the top 50. She had been the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics, where she exited in the Round-of-32 in Tokyo.
Bhavani Devi's next assignment will be at the World Championships scheduled to be held in Milan between July 22-30.