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Fit-again Anju hopes for World Cup berth

Anju Bobby George is set to prove that she is not a spent force and lanky jumper vowed to clear the 7-m mark before hanging up her boots.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 19:04 IST
United News of India
United News of India

Fit-again Anju Bobby George is determined to prove that she is not a spent force and the lanky long jumper vowed to clear the seven-metre mark before hanging up her boots.

In an interview with UNI minutes after landing here for the 10TH SAF Games, Anju was also optimistic about a good show here to book a berth for the IAAF World Cup scheduled in Athens next month.

Amid reports that she failed to find a place in the Asian team for the World Cup, Anju insisted she still has time to stake her claim with a solid performance here.

"The cut-off date is August 26 and my event here is slated the previous day. So I have every reason to be optimistic about it," she asserted.

"They consider last on year's performance and that includes my Gold medal winning effort at Incheon (the Asian Championship) where I cleared 6.65m and then bettered it in World Athletics Finals in Monaco with 6.75m. And a good show here should earn me a World Cup berth," Anju said.

The 2003 World championship long jump bronze medallist also vowed to clear the seven-metre mark before she calls it a day.

"Of course that remains my target and it's well within my reach. At this moment, all I can say is that I would clear the mark before I stop," she said.

Anju would be hitting the pit after a heel injury kept her out of action since her second place finish at the Pune leg of the Asian Grand Prix, where she leapt a poor 6.46.

"It was a soft tissue injury which I sustained in my takeoff leg, hitting an elevated part of the board. Despite the injury, I continued to play in Doha, Bangalore and Pune but towards the end, it was terrible and I had to stop competing," she said.

This has not been a very encouraging year for Anju, who finished sixth in Melbourne Commonwealth Games (6.54), seventh in Doha IAAF Super Four (6.43) and finally second in Pune (6.46) before eventually pulling out with the injury.

"Since then, I have been going through physiotherapy and the proper rehab. The heel has finally healed and there is no worry for me," Anju elaborated.

On SAF Games, Anju said she was not worried with the medal but would be trying to peak and reach her best form.

"This would be more a competition with myself. My personal best is 6.83 and I would be trying to that mark here. I have to assess the situation, especially I’m coming off an injury lay-off and so it's important to know actually I much I can do."

"I have missed all but one Grand Prix and it has been the biggest lay-off in my career since 2002. Now with the World Cup and Doha Asian Games lining up, I have to get back to my best," said the jumper, currently ranked eighth and considered one of the two top draws of the SAF Games -- Sri Lankan Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe being the other.

First Published: Aug 22, 2006 19:04 IST