Anju keeps her fingers crossed | india | Hindustan Times
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Anju keeps her fingers crossed

Whenever the two - Anju Bobby George and husband Robert Bobby George - saunter into a hall or a stadium, there's this aura around them that reflects on their casual but serious personality, writes Indraneel Das.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 02:30 IST

Whenever the two - Anju Bobby George and husband Robert Bobby George - saunter into a hall or a stadium, there's this aura around them that reflects on their casual but serious personality.

On Friday, when they stepped into the hall during a function to officially announce the Melbourne Commonwealth Games team, the duo came in their usual demeanour -- composed and confident -- but somehow their mind seemed to be drifting away.

For once it seemed they didn't want to be here. On a closer look, it seemed they were pre-occupied.

"Yeah, we have to practice for the Fed Cup and our event is slated in the evening," said Bobby George, Anju's coach. Even after a World bronze and a handful of international medals, unlike most of the selected athletes here, Anju is taking her event seriously. "We have to perform well. It's only in competitions that we can gauge our performance," said Anju.

That, perhaps, is the difference between a champion and a winner. So questions veered from the real to the mundane. Anju's chances: "Well we have to see how she performs there. There are a few long-jumpers who have beaten her or she has beaten them.

“Except for the US and the Russian athletes, all others from Australia to Jamaica to England will be here. So, this is a very competitive field," said Bobby George.

And practice? "Though we couldn't go to Melbourne but our stint in South Africa was fine.

“The conditions there were similar to Melbourne so we thought it would help us get used to the weather," said Bobby George.

But then Anju will be heading to Moscow for the World Indoors instead of going to Melbourne. "We have to go there. We have to maintain our ranking, otherwise we won't get entry into the European Circuit," said Bobby George. On the early season, Bobby George said: "We are not thinking as if the last season has ended. We are just extending the last season.

"Hopefully, after the Asian Grand Prix and Prefontaine Classic in April, Anju will get enough time to revive herself for the European circuit.

We have not decided where we will participate; we are waiting for the confirmation from the organisers. But it should be the usual ones - Madrid, Stockholm, Rome. We'll have to wait and see," said Bobby George.