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Anju's freefall in world rankings continues

Long jumper Anju Bobby George experienced a huge fall of 21 places in world rankings to be at No 35 on the latest IAAF charts.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2006 20:57 IST

Long jumper Anju Bobby George experienced a huge fall of 21 places in world rankings to be at No 35 on the latest IAAF charts.

Anju, who has hardly competed in recent months due to a heel injury, had lost six places from number eight to be at No 14 in the previous week. This has been a sharp plunge for the athlete, who reached as high as number four in the world rankings after claiming the silver medal at the World Finals in Monaco last year.

The lanky Keralite did win the gold medal at the recent South Asian Games in Colombo, but that was not enough to get her into the Asian team for the Athletics World Cup which takes place this weekend in Athens, Greece.

Five Indians -- middle distance runners Pinki Pramanik, Manjeet Kaur, Sathi Geetha, Chitra Soman and shot putter Navpreet Singh -- will represent India at the elite event.

Anju would now have to set her sights firmly on the Doha Asian Games where she would like to defend the gold medal won four years ago in Busan, Korea.

Japan's Kumiko Ikeda is the season leader in Asia with a jump of 6.86m at Osaka meet while Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova has managed 6.61m at Asian Grand Prix in Pune.

Japan's Maho Hanaoka has jumped 6.60m at Kobe meet while Anju's season best is 6.54m for a sixth place finish at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March.

The top of the women's long jump standings has witnessed quite a bit of churning with Russian Tatyana Lebedeva upstaging compatriot Tatyana Kotova to take top spot. Commonwealth Games champions Australian Bronwyn Thompson has climbed two places to number two ahead of another Russian Oksana Udmurtova.

Kotova fell three places to number four.

American Rose Richmond was the big gainer climbing six places to number seven ahead of compatriot Grace Upshaw. Ikeda is the highest-ranked Asian at number nine.