Who is Anju Bobby George?
- George is the first-ever Indian to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships
- She is a recipient to the Arjuna award, Khel Ratna award and Padma Shri award
- She is also the current vice-president of Atheltics Federation of India
Indian athletics have supplied the country with a steady supply of top level athletes over the years, who have gone on to win medals in the highest stages. Anju Bobby George is a very distinguished figure among these athletes, who has inspired and paved the way for generations of upcoming sportspersons.
While George is retired now, she made the headlines once again when Neeraj Chopra equalled her record by winning a medal at the World Athletics Championships 2022. The Indian javelin thrower clinched the silver medal, after producing a best throw of 88.13 metres on July 24.
While Chopra’s achievement is being celebrated all over India, the question arises who is Anju Bobby George, who accomplished the same at the World Athletics Championships almost two decades ago. Let’s find out.
Born in April 19, 1977 in Cheeranchira village in Kottayam district of Kerala, India, to a Syrian orthodox family, George began her training from an early age under her father. She attended the CKM Koruthode school, where she began her professional training. It was during her time in school when she began to participate in athletics meets, and she came under the radar of several coaches when she finished third in 100m hurdles and 4*100m relay race.
While she began her athletic career with Heptathlon, she turned to jump events that won her a medal in 1996 Delhi Junior Asian Championship. Three years later, she made the national record for triple jump before winning the silver medal at the South Asian Federation Games in Nepal.
She broke her own record in long jump in 2001, when she registered a 6.74m jump in the National Cadet Meet in Thiruvananthapuram and went on to win medals in the National games in Ludhiana and Hyderabad.
Her consistent performances helped her to be a part of the Indian contingent for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where she won the bronze medal in long jump. The athlete continued her impressive performance with a gold medal in the Asian Games in the same year.
2003 was a momentous year for Anju Bobby George, who went on to win a bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Paris. She also became the first-ever Indian athlete to win a medal in the tournament. Her record stood for 19 years, before Neeraj Chopra equalled it by winning a silver at the tournament in 2022.
In her long career, she has since gone on to set several national records and win many medals over the years. Anju Bobby George has won medals in IAAF World Athletics Final, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Asian Championships, World Championships and the South Asian Games, along with numerous domestic tournaments.
She has also been recipient to several national awards such as the Arjuna Award (2003), Khel Ratna (2004) and the Padma Shri (2004). She also received the BBC Lifetime Achievement award in 2021.