(Last Updated on : 12/09/2012)
Anju George was born on April 19, 1977 to father K.T. Markose and mother Gracy Markose. After her father initiated her to athletics, Anju Bobby George's trainer in CKM Koruthode School, Mr. Thomas, further developed her interest. Anju did her schooling in the St. Ann's High School and CKM Koruthode School and then graduated from the Vimala College. She studied post graduation in the University of Calicut
. Her talent in athletics was identified early; when she won the 100 m hurdles and relay in the School Athletic meet in 1991-92. She also stood second in long jump and high jump events, and eventually became the Women's champion in these sports. After that, she went on to prove her talent in the national schools games by winning third place in 100 m hurdles and 4x100 m relay.
Life in Sports for Anju George
Anju Bobby George started her professional career in Athletics, with the heptathlon. She soon concentrated more on jump events and got her first major success in the 1996 Delhi
Junior Asian Championship. She won the Long Jump medal in that championship. Anju got another major success in 1999, when she set the National Record for Triple Jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup
. She also claimed the Silver medal at the South Asian Federation Games in Nepal. She continued to perform well in different championships and in 2001; she broke her own National Record and set a new one in the National Circuit Meet at Thiruvananthapuram
. She crossed a distance of 6.74 m in the Long Jump event in that meet. She also won Gold medal in Triple Jump
and Long Jump
in the Ludhiana
National Games, in the same year. She dominated everyone in her events in the Hyderabad
National Games, as well.
International Outing for Anju George
After gaining significant success at the national and regional level, Anju Bobby George gradually became a name in the international Athletics meets from 2002. She won the Bronze medal by clearing 6.49 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games at Manchester. She also won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan, in the same year. The year 2003 presented most memorable moment of her career and also one of the greatest moments in the history of Indian Athletics. Anju made history by winning the bronze medal in Long Jump clearing 6.70 m at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris. She became becoming the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Championship in Athletics. This achievement boosted her confidence further and she went on to achieve her personal best of 6.83 m at the 2004 Olympic Games at Athens. That performance brought her the sixth position in the Athens Olympics.
Anju Bobby George won the Gold medal in the women's Long Jump at the 16th Asian Athletics Championship in Incheon City of South Korea with a leap of 6.65 metres. She also won the Silver medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2005; by clearing 6.75 m. Anju Bobby George considers this performance to be her best performance ever. After that, Anju won Silver medal in women's Long Jump in the 15th Asian Games, 2006, held at Doha. Her wonderful performance continued in 2007 also, when she won Silver medal in the 17th Asian Athletics Championship at Amman (Jordan) with a jump of 6.65m. She also qualified for the Osaka World Championship in August 2007, with this performance. However, she did not perform well at Osaka, finishing 9th in the championship. In 2008, she won the Silver medal in 3rd Asian Indoor Championship in athletics at Doha (Qatar). She crossed a distance of 6.38m in the championship. She improved her performance in the 3rd South Asian Athletics Championship at Kochi
) and won the Gold medal by clearing a distance of 6.50 m. She failed to qualify for the final event in the Women's long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, disqualified for fouling in all her three attempts, in the heats preceding the event.
Anju Bobby George reached her highest ever World ranking of No. 4, in 2004, by which time she was considered to be one of the world's foremost athletes. She credits her husband, Bobby George for most of her success, who is himself a former National Champion in the Triple Jump and is now Anju George's full time coach. She has also been trained by prominent international athletics coach, Mike Powell.
Anju Bobby George's successes at championships of all levels have encouraged many more young Indians to take up athletics seriously as a career option. She is currently associated with the Customs department of India.