Pune, 24 March 2025 : The 33rd Senior National Fencing Championship, will start in Pune from today (March 25) with fencers from 30 teams across the nation vying for the top honours.
The Fencing Association of India along with Maharashtra Fencing Association and DY Patil International University is hosting the Championship, which will conclude on March 28, at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi
Maharashtra Fencing Association Secretary Dr Uday Dongre said around 600 fencers from across the country, of which 100 fencers have taken part in international events, will participate in the Championship.
“Players representing 30 teams including one from the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) will participate in the event. A good performance at the Nationals can help the fencers bag a place in the Indian team for the Asian Games and also for the National Games, which are scheduled to be held in Goa,” Dongre said.
The Championship will be played in three disciplines – Foil, Epee and Sabre for both men and women – in two categories – individual and team. On Saturday, all eyes will be on the performance of Bhavani Devi, who was the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics. She will take part in
Women’s Individual Sabre event.
The individual championships will start with the pool round, followed by round of 64, then round of 32, round of 16, round of 8, semi-finals and finals, while the team event will start round of 32, followed by round of 8, semi-finals and finals.
“This time the entire focus has been on providing nutritious food to all the participants. We have taken special inputs from dieticians for this purpose. Another attraction is that we have made 14 piste for the tournament,” added Dongre.
Apart from Bhavani Devi, the other noted players include Karan Gujjar (Rajasthan), Girish Jakate, Dnyanwshwari Shinde, Kashish Bharat (all Maharashtra).
The opening ceremony will be held on March 25 at 5 PM, in presence of Maharashtra Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Girish Mahajan, FAI President Satej Patil, FAI Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and Dr Uday Dongre, Secretary Maharashtra Fencing Association.
Ajinkya Dudhare, who represents Maharashtra in Individual Epee and Team Championship, said he was aiming for a podium finish since it was his last Nationals.
“I have been playing the sport since 1998 and have been regularly taking part in nationals since 2006. In 2016, when Pune had the Senior Nationals, I was the Champion and I was to recreate that performance,” said Ajinkya Dudhare.
Punjab’s Ena Arora, who finished 6th in the 32nd Nationals held in Amritsar, wants to put up a much improvised show during this Nationals in the Epee Individual Category.
“My aim is to better my own performance this time around,” quipped Arora, who also urged the federation to have more competition for the fencers.
Meanwhile, for all the fencing enthusiasts, results of the 33rd Senior National Fencing Championship will be updated every two hours on the official Facebook page of Fencing Association of India, while a few of the matches will be later published on the Association’s YouTube Channel.