Friday, February 5, 2010

Anju Bobby George not participating in CW Games

India’s medal chances in athletics at the Commonwealth Games in October received a blow on Friday with ace long jumper Anju Bobby George pulling out of the mega event.

The former World No.4, who has not competed since the Beijing Olympics, told here that she will be skipping the whole of 2010 and hopes to return to action early next year. “I wanted to take part and win before my fans in Delhi. But I won’t be able to compete due to personal reasons and I have already informed the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) officials,” Anju said without revealing the details.

Asked if fans would be able to see her back in action again, as a comeback from a two-and-a-half-year sabbatical is difficult, Anju was very confident about her return. “No way I am quitting the sport as I still feel I can compete in one more Olympics. I’ll try and be ready for the London Games in 2012. And If I compete there, I’ll surely not go as a spectator. I’m sure with all my experience and with the help of Bobby (husband and coach), I can make a comeback,” the 32-year-old Customs officer added.

Anju first hogged the limelight winning the bronze medal in the CWG in 2002 and then in the Busan Asian Games where she clinched the gold. The next year she created history in Paris becoming the first Indian to win a medal (bronze) in the World Athletics championship. In 2005, Anju was again basking in glory after winning the silver in the World Athletics final, an achievement rated by many as the high point of her career.

However, Anju’s best performance came in the Athens Olympics when she led the field in the first round after touching down at 6.83 meters. In the end, the Indian couldn’t improve further and settled for the sixth place.