Kusuma Singh: Fencing’s creme de la creme
By S S Shreekumar | Published: 29th November 2012 08:38 AM |
Creme de la creme! Well, it means, cream of the cream. And the practitioner of this ancient sport of fencing, Kusuma Singh is just that.
As she went up to receive the KOA Award 2012 for her exploits with the sharp glittering weapon, epee, foil and sabre, Kusuma was given a huge ovation by the sporting turn out.
Well, what then is Kusuma excelling in. To understand that, one must also understand the sport. For not many are fully aware even of the broad nature of fencing, a sport that has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896. Fencing, athletics, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics were the five disciplines that kicked-off the Olympics in its original form. Originating in Spain and developed mainly in France, fencing is administered by the Federation Internationale d’Escrime.
In fencing, foil is a light thrusting weapon that targets the torso including the back but not the arms. Touches are scored only with the tip; hits with the side of the blade do not count, and do not halt the action. Sabre is a light cutting and thrusting weapon that targets the entire body above the waist, excluding the hands. Hits with the edges of the blade as well as the tip are valid.
Epee is a more heavier, thrusting weapon that targets the entire body. All hits must be with the tip and not the sides of the blade. Unlike foil and sabre, Epee does not use “right of way”, and allows simultaneous hits by both fencers.
Well, Kusuma has been doing just that. She has won medals at almost all competitions.
Kusuma being a Rajput, is a natural fighter and will not duck against any opposition. The 21-year-old 1st year M Com student of Jain University has been participating in foil and epee right from 2005-06. The sport took her fancy when she was barely 13 or 14 years of age.
Her parents have ensured that their daughter has all the protective gear needed for the sport - helmet, clothing, specialised footwear etc. Kusuma gets on to the arena full of confidence and takes on all opposition with a daring not often seen in sports. She bagged the foil and epee bronze in the junior nationals in 2006 and the silver the next year. From then on she is in pursuit of medals and glory for herself, the state and the country in future.
Kusuma has turned out for the senior state team for the last six years in a row from 2007 onwards. She also took part in the 34th National Games in Jharkhand in epee. She has been a regular contestant at the all-India inter-university meets and bagged the bronze in foil and epee in 2009. Kusuma also picked up the foil bronze at Hyderabad in the Federation Cup meet in Oct 2011.
There is no doubt Kusuma is sitting on the state ‘fence’ only to jump into the national team.