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 July 30, 2002 | 0600 IST

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Anju B George clinches bronze medal

Anju B George provided the first-ever medal for India from the athletics arena as she clinched the bronze medal in the women's long jump in the 17th Commonwealth Games in Manchester on Monday.

The Tamil Nadu athlete, whose personal best is 6.74 metres, recorded at the domestic meet in Thiruvanthapuram in July 2001, leapt to a distance of 6.49 metres to take the bronze on a productive day for the largest ever Indian contingent.

She improved upon her performance in the heats, when she cleared 6.36 metres in the Pool A qualifying round to make it to the final.

At the National ahtletics meet in Chennai, in May this year, George won her third long jump title in a row when she leapt to a distance of 6.45 metres.

Elva Goulbourne of Jamaica bagged the coveted gold medal in the event with a leap of 6.70 metres while England's Jade Johnson picked up the silver with an effort of 6.58 metres.

It was a highly creditable performance by Anju as the Indians had never managed to win a medal in the track and field events in Commonwealth Games.


Women's Long Jump final: 1 Elva Goulbourne (Jam) 6.70 metres, 2 Jade Johnson (Eng) 6.58, 3 Anju Bobby George (Ind) 6.49, 4 Chinedu Odozor (NGR) 6.39, 5 Chantal Brunner (NZ) 6.39, 6 Bronwyn Thompson (Aus) 6.38, 7 Jackie Edwards (Bah) 6.19, 8 Esther Aghatise (NGR) 6.01, 9 Ruth Irving (Sco) 5.98, 10 Irene Charalambous (Cyp) 5.91, 11 Ann Danson (Eng) 5.88, 12 Sarah Claxton (Eng) 5.77