While Bhavani Devi put up a powerful performance at the Asian Games 2023, she bowed out of the quarterfinals after she lost to China's Yaqi Shao. Bhavani Devi had earlier advanced to the pre-quarterfinals at the Asian Games securing a top rank in her pool in the women's sabre tournament.
Devi had earlier won all five preliminary rounds of matches. Devi, the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, was aiming to win a historic gold in the Asian Games 2023.
Bhavani Devi's Powerful performance at the games
Indian ace fencer, Bhavani Devi made a resounding statement at the Asian Games tournament held in Hangzhou, China after she had stormed into women's sabre pre-quarterfinals securing a top rank in her pool.
Devi exhibited her remarkable skills to outclass all five of her opponents of Singapore, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Bangladesh and secured a top rank in the pool with a remarkable victory in her last two pool fixtures.
In the pre-quarterfinal, Devi defeated Thailand's Tonkhaw Phokaew in the round of 16 entering the quarterfinals against China's Yaqi Shao, a silver medalist at the 2018 Asian Games.
As the ace fencer was aiming for the maiden in the tournament entering the pre-quarterfinals after the dominant victory, her unbeaten triumph of six-match winning streak came to an end as the fencer lost to China's Yaqi Shao by 7-15.
Devi would have been marked as the first Indian fencer to enter the semi-finals of the Asian Games tournament if she had prevailed in the quarterfinals.
🇮🇳's Fencer @IamBhavaniDevi conclude her campaign at the #AsianGames2022 after losing the quarter-finals— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) September 26, 2023
She displayed remarkable strength and spirit but faced a tough challenge. Let's applaud her performance, and wish her the very best for future. 🇮🇳🥋🤺#Cheer4India#Hallabol… pic.twitter.com/1nOtiq3Oum
However, Devi lashed out and claimed that the referee in the tournament was biased towards the Chinese opponent. She stated that the referee was not right with her right from the beginning and gave a quick series of 3-4 touches to her opponent fencer.
Devi kept protesting throughout the match before throwing her sabre on the ground and storming off the ring with her coach disappointed by the refereeing that robbed her of the historic victory in the Asian Games event.
However, Devi said she is now looking forward to the Paris Olympics and focussing her energy on the big tournament in 2024.
Devi had earlier created history after winning India's first medal at the Asian Fencing Championship winning a bronze. Devi now has a world ranking of 36 and aspires to script history at the future Games.
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