Services, Kerala retain team titles in National Fencing Championships


Rudrapur (Uttarakhand) [India], March 21 (ANI): Services carried too many guns for their rivals and retained the men’s team championships, winning the top prize with all three weapons in the 31st Senior National Fencing Championships that concluded at the Delhi Public School here on Sunday.
Kerala retained the women’s overall team prize, thanks to the Saber squad’s 45-41 conquest of Punjab on Sunday. Manipur missed having a presence in the women’s Sabre event and, despite winning both the Foil and Epee honours, ended up two points short of Kerala in the women’s team championships.
Powered by individual Foil and Sabre champions Arjun and Kumaresan Padma Gisho Nidhi respectively as well as by Epee bronze medallist Pankaj Kumar Sharma, each of the Services teams claimed gold, leaving the best of other sides to settle for the lesser medals. Punjab, a runner-up in the team Foil and Sabre events, claimed the second spot ahead of Odisha.
Yet, all the teams will concede that it was Bhavani Devi’s ninth successive individual Sabre National title that was the toast of the three-day meet. Not resting on her oars after becoming the first Indian fencer to secure a berth in the Olympic Games competition, Bhavani Devi scored a 15-7 victory over C Jose Josna (Kerala) in the final late on Saturday night.
Earlier, Bhavani Devi lost no time in defeating Jaspreet Kaur (Jammu and Kashmir) 15-2 in her opening pool match but had to beat back a stiff challenge from Telangana’s Baby Reddy before winning 15-14 to get through to the quarterfinals where she trounced Jagmeet Kaur (Punjab) 15-7. In the semifinals, Bhavani Devi dominated K Anitha in a 15-4 verdict. (ANI)