Bobby George ,became the first Indian athlete ever to win
a medal in a World Championships in Athletics clearing 6.70
m.She created history when she won the bronze medal in Long
Jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris.
She went on to win the silver medal at the IAAF World Athletics
Final in 2005, a performance she considers her best. She received
the prestigious Arjuna award in 2002-2003 for eminent sports
persons from the government of India and the country's highest
sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi KhelRatna award in 2003-2004
after her success in the World Athletic meet. She was conferred
Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award in 2004.
Anju now ranks 4th in the world, her highest ever.
Anju was born on April 19th, 1977 in Cheeranchira Kochuparambil
family in Changanasseri, Kerala to parents K.T. Markos and
Gracy. She was initiated into athletics by her father and
her interest was further kindled by her trainer Mr. Thomas
in Koruthode school. She won her first event - a lemon-and-spoon
race, at age four - after hours of practice. She did her schooling
in St. Ann's High School and CKM Koruthode School. In the
School Athletic meet in 1991-92, she came first in 100 m hurdles
and relay and second in long jump and high jump events and
became the women's champion. Anju's talent was noticed in
the national schools games where she won third place in 100
m hurdles and 4x100 m relay. She graduated from Vimala College
and was also successful in being the Calicut University Champion.
She started off her career with Heptathlon but later on began
to concentrate on her jump events and went on to win long
jump medal in the 1996 Delhi junior Asian championship. In
1999 Anju set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore
Federation Cupand Silver medal at the South Asian Federation
Games in Nepal.
2001 Anju bettered her own record in long jump to 6.74 m in
the National Circuit Meet at Thiruvananthapuram. In the same
year she also won gold for triple jump and long jump in the
Ludhiana National games. Anju reigned supreme in her events
in the Hyderabad National games also. She won the bronze medal
clearing 6.49 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games at Manchester.
She also won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan.
made history when she won the bronze medal clearing 6.70 m
in Long Jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics
in Paris, becoming the first Indian athlete ever to win a
medal in a World Championships in Athletics.
She achieved her personal best of 6.83 m at the 2004 Olympic
Games at Athens that brought her the sixth position.
In September 2005, she 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 went on to
win the silver medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in
2005 with a leap of 6.75 m, a performance she considers her
Anju's talent was helped by the extraordinary family she married
into. The credit for her success goes to her husband and coach
Bobby George who according to her was the biggest influence
who helped her in realising her potential and achieving the
who is a Mechanical Engineer and a former National Champion
in Triple jump himself, gave up his career to become a full
time coach to Anju in 1998. He belongs to a prestigious sports
family and is the younger brother of the famous Volley ball
player Jimmy George.
and Bobby, realising that international exposure is essential
for competing in World class events made necessary arrangements
and trained with Mike Powell, a world record holder, before
the World Athletics meet, which gave her valuable exposure
is employed with the Customs department while her husband
Robert (Bobby) George is with the Public Works Department,
Government of Kerala. They live and train in Bangalore.