Anju Bobby George: India’s jewel in long jump

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    • Name: Anju Bobby George
    • Date of Birth: 19 April 1977
    • City: Kerala
    • Top Achievement: First Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Championships in Athletics
    • Trivia: She is married to Bobby George who is a former national champion in Triple jump.

Introduction:

Anju Bobby George made history when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris. She went on to win the Gold medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2005, a performance she considers her best. Recently, Anju has been upgraded to the gold medal from silver in the 2005 World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo following the disqualification of Tatyana Kotova of Russia by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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Anju in action at the World Championships

The credit for her success goes to her husband and coach Robert Bobby George who according to her was the biggest influence who helped her in realising her potential and achieving the goal. 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.

Childhood & early life:

Anju was initiated into athletics by her father and her interest was further developed by her trainer in Koruthode School. In the school athletic meet in 1991–92, she won the 100 m hurdles and relay and stood second in long jump and high jump events, thus becoming the women’s champion. Anju’s talent was noticed in the national schools games where she won third place in 100 m hurdles and 4×100 m relay. 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.

Career Commentary:

1 x World Championships Bronze medalist
1 x World Athletics Final Silver medalist
1 x Asian Games Gold medalist
1 x Asian Games Silver medalist
1 x Asian Championships Gold medalist
1 x Asian Championships Silver medalist
1 x Olympic Games finalist
3 x World Championships finalist
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After winning her bronze at the World Athletics Championships

Awards & Accolades:

  1. 2002 – Arjuna Award for sporting excellence by the Indian Government.
  2. 2003 – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (India’s highest sporting award).
  3. 2004 – Padma Shri Award (India’s fourth highest Civilian Award).
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Receiving the Khel Ratna award from the President

Personal Life & Fun Facts:

Anju is married to Robert Bobby George who is a former National Champion in triple jump & her coach too. Bobby gave up his career to become a full-time coach to Anju in 1998. She is employed with the Customs department in Bangalore. The couple have a son Aaron & a daughter Andrea. She has a Bachelors degree in economics from Calicut University.

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Anju with her husband Bobby

 

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