Anju Bobby George is an Indian Athlete, and is credited to be the First Indian Athlete ever to have grabbed a Medal at the World Athletics Championship. Also, she has won a Silver Medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Final event.
Early Life & Introduction to Athletics
She was born on the 19th of April 1977 at Changanassery, Kerala to K.T. Markose and Gracy Markose. Her father encouraged her to enter sports, while Mr P.V. Welsey at St. Anne’s School and Mr. K.P. Thomas, a Coach at CKM Koruthode School taught her the basics of Athletics. She won the 100m hurdles and relay race, and finished 2nd in the Long Jump and High Jump events at the School Athletics meet in the year 1991-92. Further, she showed her prowess at National School Games where she finished 3rd in 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay race.
Beginning of Athletics Career
Initially Anju began her Athletics career with Heptathlon, a combined Athletics competition comprised of 7 different events. Later on, she decided to focus upon jump events only, and won the medal in Long Jump event at Delhi Junior Asian Championship 1996. She created a new National Record in Triple Jump at the Bangalore Federation Cup and grabbed the Silver Medal at South Asian Federation Games in Nepal in the year 1999. At the National Circuit Meet held at Thiruvananthapuram in 2001, Anju improved her own record in Long Jump with a jump measuring 6.74m. She also grabbed the Gold Medals in Triple Jump and Long Jump events at Ludhiana National Games in the same year.
Anju grabbed the Bronze Medal in the Long Jump event at the Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002. She covered a distance of 6.49m at the event. Further, at the Busan Asian Games 2002 she won Gold Medal in the Long Jump event clearing 6.53m, and became the First Indian Woman Athlete ever to win a Gold Medal at the Asian Games. She created history when she cleared a distance of 6.70m at the Long Jump event of Paris World Athletics Championship 2003 to win a Bronze Medal. This was the first ever medal grabbed by an Indian woman at the World Athletics Championship.
At the Athens Olympic Games 2004, Anju delivered her personal best performance by clearing 6.83m in the Long Jump event, although the very high standard of the competition let her finish at the 6th place only. Further, she won a Gold Medal in the Women’s Long Jump event at 16th Asian Athletics Championship 2005, held at Incheon, South Korea. She cleared 6.65m in the event. What Anju considers to be her best achievement though, is her Silver Medal win at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Final 2005, where she covered 6.75m. At the Doha Asian Games 2006 she won a Silver Medal in Women’s Long Jump and a Silver Medal again at the 17th Asian Athletics Championship held at Amman (Jordan) with a jump of 6.65m. This victory led Anju to qualify for the Osaka World Championship 2007, where she couldn’t fare well enough and finished at 9th place.
In the year 2008, Anju grabbed a Silver Medal at the 3rd Asian Indoor Championship held at Doha (Qatar), clearing 6.38m. Further, she improved her performance at 3rd South Asian Athletics Championship held at Kochi (Kerala), and delivered a jump of 6.50m to win a Gold Medal at the championship.
Awards & Honors
For her unparalleled excellence in the sport and her continuous contribution to the nation through the numerous laurels she’s brought home, Anju Bobby George was honored with Arjuna Award in the year 2002-2003 by the Government of India. Further, she was bestowed upon the most prestigious Indian award in the field of sports, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in the year 2003-2004. She was also conferred upon the Padma Shri award in the year 2004.
- National record holder in long jump; won bronze medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games
- Won gold medal in the 2002 Busan Asiad Games
- Became the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Championships when won bronze at Paris World Championship
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2003-04