Indian athlete Anju Bobby George wins ‘Woman of Year Award’ from World Athletics

The retired and legendary Indian athlete Anju Bobby George bagged the Woman of the Year Award by World Athletics for grooming talent in the country and for her advocacy of gender equality. 

Anju is the only woman to achieve a medal in the 2003 world championships. She won a bronze medal in the long jump reaching feet of 6.70m. She was named for the award in the world body’s annual awards night on December 1.

“The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016, she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist, ” World Athletics said in a release.

“Truly humbled and honored to be awarded Woman of the Year by @worldAthletics.There is a no better feeling than to wake up every day and give back to the sport, allowing it to enable and empower young girls! Thank you for recognizing my efforts,” Anju responded on her award on Twitter.

Anju was awarded the Arjun award in 2002, Khel Ratna in 2003, and Padma Shri in 2004. She had got 5th position with the personal best score of 6.83 at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In March 2021, Anju won the BBC lifetime achievement award for best athlete in India. 

Anju also helms as a senior vice-president of the Indian Athletics Federation, there she trains many girls through her training academy, which has already helped many athletes thrive in international athletics competitions, including the Under-20 gold medalist Shailee Singh. Anju is also the chairperson of the Athletes Commission of the Indian Olympic Association.

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Anju hails from Kottayam, Kerala and she started to look forward to her career from the school days itself. In the school athletic meet in 1991–92, she won the 100 m hurdles and relay and stood second in the long jump and high jump events, thus becoming the women’s champion. 

Besides the world championship, She also won a gold medal at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games. She achieved her personal best of 6.83 m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens that brought her the fifth position. This is the current Indian national record.