Anju Bobby George, the recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2002, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2003 and awardee of the Padma Shri in 2004, for her invaluable contribution in the field of Athletics, has held India’s flag high in many international stages. This amazing athlete was present for Bhavan’s 6th Annual Sports Meet on 29 November, 2014 at the Kaifan stadium, to cheer their young athletes.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Indian Educational School, Kuwait, takes pride in announcing the gracious presence of an exemplary athlete at the 6th Annual Sports Meet. Mrs. Anju Bobby George, the only Indian athlete till date to have won a World Athletics Championship medal, consented to be the Guest of Honor, exalting Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to the position of the first school in Kuwait to show its hospitality to a world renowned Indian athlete.
“To get to the pinnacle of their sport, even the most naturally gifted athletes have to give it their all” stands true in the case of Mrs. Anju Bobby George. Born to Mr. K. T. Markose and Mrs. Gracy Markose on 19 April, 1977, in Changanassery, Kerala, Anju was initiated into athletics by her father. Her baptism in international athletics came at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in New Delhi in 1996 when she competed in the long jump and triple jump. The rise of Anju since 1999 was phenomenal. Her inspiration was her coach and husband Bobby George. In 2001 she won the ‘best athlete’ award at the National Games in Ludhiana, winning two gold medals.
Anju’s major breakthrough on the international stage came at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. She won the long jump bronze, becoming the first Indian woman athlete, to achieve that distinction. In the same year she took the gold in the Asian Games in Busan, Korea, the first field event gold won by an Indian woman athlete in the Asian Games. Anju became the ‘best woman athlete’ of the National Games for a second time, in Hyderabad, in December 2002.
In March 2003 Anju participated in her first World competition-IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. In August 2003 she won a silver medal in the IAAF Super Grand Prix in Stockholm, thus becoming the first Indian athlete to participate and win a medal at the top IAAF Grand Prix meet.
Anju Bobby George made history when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Paris. She cleared 6.70 metres to become the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal at World Athletics. She also won Gold medal in Afro Asian Games in 2003.
The year 2004 turned out to be the best for Anju as a long jumper. She won the IAAF Qatar Grand Prix in Doha, becoming the first Indian to win an IAAF Super Grand Prix medal. She was chosen as the captain and flag bearer of the Indian contingent in the 2004 Athens Olympics. She achieved her personal best of 6.83 m at the 2004 Olympic Games at Athens that brought her the sixth position later upgraded to fifth position. This is the current Indian national record.
In 2005 she won the fourth position in the Helsinki World Athletics Championships, missing a medal narrowly. She won the gold in the Asian Championships the same year followed by the silver in the World Athletics Final which was her best achievement on the world stage till then. It has now been upgraded to gold, following a doping disqualification, giving Anju a unique status in Indian athletics. Anju bade adieu to athletics in 2008.
Through sheer determination and hard work, Anju has conquered many peaks, previously reckoned unattainable by many an Indian. Her inimitable success in the field of Athletics has motivated many youngsters in the country and has paved way for India’s success on the global stage in recent times. Let Anju be an inspiration for the present generation “To see the invisible and do the impossible”.
She has now taken up the role of a mentor to groom the country’s young talents in quest of an Olympic medal. Let us all wish India’s pride, Mrs. Anju Bobby George, all the very best in all her new ventures.