Bhubaneswar, Feb 22 (IANS) If there is living proof of the fact that size does not matter, it is in the form of Jyotika Dutta, the epee specialist who has taken the Indian fencing world by storm. Petite, lean and more often than not the shorter fencer in competition, she is also almost always the one who comes out on top.
Jyotika emerged as a highly touted prospect at the Asian Games 2018, powering her way to the quarterfinals in the épée event. It has been two years since, and she is still climbing her way up to the higher echelons of the sport. Back from a recent stint in France, she entered the fencing field as one of the favourites and despite two losses in the group stages pulled herself back to make the individual girls épée finals.
“Adversity teaches you something,” she said on the sidelines of the event.
“I had some rough starts in the group stages and didn’t want to make the same mistakes in the knockouts,” she added.
The 22-year-old from Rohru started fencing almost 15 years back at the behest of her cousin Jiteshwar Dutta. No one around her, in her small town had ever heard of the sport.
“In the early days my cousin would train me. He would procure equipment and get it and teach me the basics,” she explained.
A B.Ped student at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Jyotika was part of the fencing team that spent a long time in France training at the International Fencing Federation’s high performance centre.