Thursday, November 30, 2023

Anju Bobby George
NAME: Anju Bobby George
BIRTH DATE: April 19, 1977
PLACE OF BIRTH: Changanassery

Anju Bobby George, made history when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the World Athletics Championships 2003 in Paris. With this achievement, she became the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Athletics Championship clearing 6.70 m.

Anju was born on April 19th, 1977 in Cheeranchira Kochuparambil family in Changanasseri, Kerala to parents K.T. Markos and Gracy. She was initiated into athletics by her father and her interest was further kindled by her trainer Mr. Thomas in Koruthode school. She did her schooling in St. Ann's High School and CKM Koruthode School and graduated from Vimala College. In the School Athletic meet in 1991-92,  she came first in 100 m hurdles and relay and second in long jump and high jump events and became the women's champion. Anju's talent was noticed in the national schools games where she won third place in 100 m hurdles and 4x100 m relay. She was the Calicut University Champion during her college days.  

Although she started with Heptathlon, she later began to concentrate on her jump events and went on to win long jump medal in the 1996 Delhi junior Asian championship. In 1999 Anju set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup and Silver medal at the South Asian Federation Games in Nepal. In 2001 Anju bettered her own record in long jump to 6.74 m, her best till date in the National Circuit Meet at Thiruvananthapuram. In the same year she also won gold for triple jump and long jump in the Ludhiana National games. Anju reigned supreme in her events in the Hyderabad National games also. Anju became the first Indian woman to win a bronze medal clearing 6.49 m at the Commonwealth Games at Manchester 2002. She also won the gold medal at the Busan Asian Games. She received the prestigious Arjuna ward (2003) for eminent sports persons from the government of India after her success in the World Athletic meet.

Anju now ranks 6th in the world. Anju's journey to success from rank 61 in 2001 to rank 6 in 2003 within a short span of two years, was one of sheer hard work and intensive planning. The credit for her success goes to her husband and coach Bobby George who according to her was the biggest influence who helped her in realising her potential and achieving the goal. Bobby who is a Mechanical Engineer and a former National Champion in Triple jump himself, gave up his career to become a full time coach to Anju in 1998. He belongs to a prestigious sports family and is the younger brother of the famous Volley ball player Jimmy George. Anju and Bobby, realising that international exposure is essential for competing in World class events made necessary arrangements and trained with Mike Powell, a world record holder before the World Athletics meet which gave her valuable exposure in technique.

Both Anju and Bobby George work in the customs department and are settled in Chennai. Anju now has her sights on the Olympic gold at Athens 2004 and will train in California for the event.

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