Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Anju Bobby George began her career initially in the Heptathlon event before shifting categories to Long Jump. She first came onto the scene in the Delhi Junior Asian Championships in 1996 where she won a Gold in the Long Jump category. 3 years later, she set the national record in Triple Jump at the Federation Cup that was held in Bangalore and then won the Silver medal at the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Nepal.
In 2001, she beat her own record in the Long Jump, with a performance of 6.74m at the National Circuit Meet in Thiruvananthapuram. She continued her fine run in 2001, by winning the Gold in Triple Jump and the Long Jump at the Ludhiana National Games.
A year later, she won the Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester with an effort of 6.49m and then backed that performance with a Gold in the Asian Games in Busan.
2003 saw her create history when she became the first Indian athlete to win a medal at the World Championships when she won bronze in Paris with an effort of 6.70m. She also achieved her personal best in her first Olympic appearance in Athens in 2004, with a jump of 6.83m, that saw finish at the sixth spot. Incidentally, 11 years later, this is still an Indian national record.
She continued her good form in 2005, winning the Gold at the Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon and the won another Gold at the IAAF World Athletics Final in the very same year with a leap of 6.75m.
She clinched the Silver medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006 and then won another Silver at the Asian Athletics Championships,which also helped her to qualify for the World Championships in Osaka in 2007, where she finished 9th.
She began her season in 2008 with a Silver medal at the Asian Indoor Championships and then went one better at the South Asian Athletics Championships in Kochi, where she won Gold.
For her stupendous achievements, she was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2002-03 and following her fine performance at the World Championships in 2003, she was also awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna as well.