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Anju Bobby George: 'I envy today's Indian athletes... I was in the wrong era'

5 months ago 75

 'I envy today's Indian athletes... I was in the wrong era'

"Women empowerment is not just a word now. Every Indian girl is ready to dream and they know their dreams will come true," Anju Bobby George said. PTI

New Delhi: India’s first ever World Athletics Championship medallist Anju Bobby George says that she competed “in the wrong era”, praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s eagerness for promoting and transforming sports in the country. Speaking at a programme organised at the PM’s residence on Christmas, the legendary long jumper said:

“As a sportsperson, I was here for almost 25 years and I’m seeing a lot of changes. When I got India’s first global medal 20 years ago, even my department was not ready to give me a promotion.

“But after Neeraj (Chopra) got a medal, I have seen the changes the way we are celebrating… I envy them because I was in the wrong era,” Anju said during the event.

Anju, who won a bronze medal in the women’s long jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris, spoke about women empowerment and also how the country now also celebrates athletes’ accomplishments.

“Women empowerment is not just a word now. Every Indian girl is ready to dream and they know their dreams will come true,” she said.

The PM interacted with the Christian community on the occasion of Christmas, and Anju was among the prominent persons who attended the event.

“I think in the near future, we will be at the top (of sports world),” she said.

Among her other achievements, Anju bagged a gold medal at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games and achieved her personal best of 6.83m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, which brought her the fifth position.

She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2002, Khel Ratna in 2003 and the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award, in 2004.

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