Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Amita Berthier, Fencing
Every time Amita Berthier steps into the fencing arena, she is fighting for more than just glory and the pride of her country. She is also doing it for her late father, who passed away five years ago and was one of her biggest supporters.
On 25 Apr 2021, she became the first Singaporean fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games, after defeating Uzbekistan's Yana Alborova in the women's foil final at the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament. And the memory of her father was not far from her mind.
"This was for him. I made a promise five years ago when he passed that I would get to the Olympics, and I knew he was there with me, watching over me the whole day today," she says in a recent interview.
Her historic achievement is even more remarkable, given the fact that the 20 year-old has also had to balance studies, training, injuries and the uncertainties of a global pandemic.
Character Bio: Despite her tender age, Amita has achieved many milestones in her young fencing career. She is a former junior world No.1, the first Singaporean fencer to do so.
In 2018, she moved to the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, United States to study and polish her skills. This led her to clinching a bronze medal in the women's individual foil at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) fencing championships, helping her university to the overall title. A very big deal in the US.
Achievement Unlocked: On the home front, Amita won back-to-back gold medals in the women's individual foil at the SEA Games in 2017 and 2019, and also a team foil in the latter edition.
Her Olympic qualification is the biggest achievement in her career thus far and she will now represent Singapore in the upcoming Tokyo Games, which will take place between 23 Jul and 8 Aug 2021.
Level Up: The sky's the limit for Amita as she sets her sights on this year's Olympic Games. It will be the culmination of a long journey with many sacrifices along the way. En garde, Amita!