|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Anju hoping for a huge leap
N D Prashant | December 06, 2006 18:05 IST
Anju Bobby George is back after injury and raring to go. After a not-too-good year that saw her sit out for three months because of a heel injury, the ace woman long jumper is looking to salvage pride at the Asian Games in Doha in the coming days.
The capital city of Qatar is certainly not unknown territory for the Kerala lass, who had achieved a wind-aided personal best of 6.83 metres that won her gold in the 2004 Doha Grand Prix.
But confident as she is, she refuses to make any predictions.
"I don't want to say anything about the medals as of now. I'm just looking forward to doing my best," said Anju, who failed to defend her title against Russia's Tatyana Lebedeba in Doha 2005 Grand Prix, finishing fourth, and placed a disappointing sixth at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
"I have recovered fully and the training has also gone well. I was practicing hard in Bangalore and, hopefully, it will be a good beginning for me," said Anju, a bronze medallist at the 2003 World Championships in Paris and silver at the World Athletics finals in 2005.
When she won the gold medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan there was hardly anyone around to cheer and goad her on. However, in Doha she can rest assured of huge support, especially from Kerala expatriates, who are a dominant force in the region.
"I'm aware that there will be lot of support for me and so the expectation has also risen. I'm very much looking forward to the challenge," she said, adding her main opponents will be the Chinese and Kazakhstan girls.
"There is a girl from China who is doing well. I think any score above 6.80 is good here. However, one cannot expect to get the best score in this climate, as it getting pretty cold from early in the evening. It will effect our scores a bit. However, it will be the same for everyone, so I am not that much worried about it," she added.
Anju's coach and husband Bobby, too, was confident of a good showing.
"I can't see why she can't do well here. With the support that she will be having, I don't think anything should effect her performance," he said.
Sure nothing should affect her, including the latest doping controversy involving Seema Antil.
"Don't ask me anything about it. I am not bothered at all. I was training in Bangalore and I am clean," declared the Manchester Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage