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Singaporean fencer Amita Berthier will not participate in the Paris Olympics to make up the numbers

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“I make people bigger than they are and I don’t realize my potential or how good I can be. I think once I get that killer mentality, (being) out for blood, I’ll really be able to achieve even bigger things than I have right now,” said Berthier, a three-time medalist gold at the SEA Games.

“Having coach Oleg as my coach, he tends to remind me not to have such low expectations and he is very wise. He helped me believe in myself because sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit or I doubt my abilities.”

ACHIEVEMENTS MEAN SACRIFICES

Berthier has a busy few months ahead before this year’s Olympics.

On her calendar are three World Cups and the Asian Championships where good performances will help Berthier improve her world ranking and her ranking in women’s foil at the Olympic Games. She is currently ranked 28th in the world.

On Thursday, Berthier told reporters that qualifying for Paris was never the end goal.

“I went to the last Olympics as a participant… first Olympics, no one had ever qualified for Singapore. So it was a huge achievement for me,” she said.

“Now I’m grateful that I qualified, but that wasn’t my goal, that was kind of the expectation that I set for myself… I want to go there as a contender rather than a participant .”

Berthier secured her place in Paris after finishing tied for 20th in the women’s foil event at the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) Grand Prix in Washington last month.

Based on the current qualification process, shooters from the world’s top four teams qualify directly for the Olympics. The shooters from the highest ranked remaining team in each of the four FIE zones – Europe, Asia-Oceania, America and Africa – also qualify.

Subsequently, the best individual shooters from the four zones who failed to advance through the team category qualify for the Games. Berthier qualified in this category.

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics was a big learning experience for Singapore’s top fencer, and it made her want to do more.

“I’ve grown mentally since the last Olympics and I’ve grown in general,” she said.

“I came away with a very good experience from the Olympics, but I am not at all satisfied with my results, knowing that I deserve to do better, I can be at that level.”

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