September 19, 2020
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'Nothing But Gold Will Do'

'I am not going to compromise on winning the gold medal and am determined to hear our National Anthem being played and the Tricolour being raised in Athens.' Updates

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'Nothing But Gold Will Do'
'Nothing But Gold Will Do'

Buoyed by her recent gold winning performance at the IAAF Super Grand Prix event in Doha, long jumper Anju Bobby George is aiming for nothing short of the yellow metal at the Athens Olympics in August.

"I am not going to compromise on winning the gold medal and am determined to hear our National Anthem being played and the Tricolour being raised in Athens," Anju, the country's brightest medal hope in athletics, said.

"I am now in a comfortable position to think of (winning) the gold medal. Though there are pressures, I am confident of achieving my goal since there is consistency in my jumps," the lanky Superintendent of the Chennai Customs said.

The 27-year-old Anju, who set her career-best leap of 6.82 metres at Doha ten days ago, said getting visas for various countries, where she planned to participate in a series of meets, has been affecting her preparations.

She said she was still awaiting the visa to the Netherlands where she is scheduled to compete in an IAAF Grand Prix event on May 31.

"I do not face any financial problems like last year but the pressure has been mounting on me in obtaining visas for different countries in Europe for competing before the Olympics.

"My entry for the IAAF Grand Prix in Hengelo in the Netherlands slated for May 31 has been confirmed but I could not decide on it since the visa is yet to be extended by the Embassy.

"The Athletic Federation of India has been doing its utmost for me in this regard," Anju said.

The Kerala athlete said overall she was satisfied with the improvement in her performance.

"Last August I was ranked eighth and I have gradually improved upon it to be fourth presently. I have been consistently reaching at least 20 centimetres more than my usual distance and even my worst jumps during training have been 6.70 metres."

Anju's husband-cum-coach Bobby George said the Asian Games 2002 gold medallist was beginning to peak at the right time."I know where she is standing right now. Anju is in her best form, strength and speed wise. She is more confident than last year."

Anju, who bagged the Hero Award for Best Sportswoman of 2003, has come a long way since winning the silver medal at SAF Games at Kathmandu in 1999.

She qualified for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but did not compete due to injury. In 2002, she scripted a new chapter in Indian athletics by becoming the first Indian woman to win a bronze at the Manchester Commonwealth Games.

She rose to stardom with a gold medal feat in the Busan Asian Games. With this background and her bronze medal win in the World Championship in Paris in last August, Anju has rekindled hopes' of India winning the first ever gold in athletics at the Olympic Games.


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