No chance for athletics medal in London Olympics: Anju

No chance for athletics medal in London Olympics: Anju

India's lone medallist at World Athletics Championships Anju Bobby George today said that the country has no chance of winning a medal at the London Olympics track and field events.

Anju, who won a bronze in the women's long jump in the 2003 World Championships in Paris, tipped discus throwers Vikas Gowda and Krishna Poonia as outside contenders for a podium finish.

"I don't want to discourage the athletes but we don't have any chance. None of the athletes have come close to an Olympic medal winning performance this year," Anju told PTI from Bangalore.

"Vikas Gowda and Krishna Poonia should reach the final round but they can win a medal only if they perform better than their personal best. Krishna has to throw beyond 65m if she wants a medal and Vikas 70m to get a medal," said 35-year-old Anju.

Gowda and Poonia rewrote national records in the build-up to the Olympics with throws of 66.28m and 64.76m, respectively and they are considered the best medal bets for the country in athletics in London.

Asked about the chances of Mayookha Johny who qualified for London Olympics in triple jump, Anju said, "I don't think Mayookha can even qualify for the final round. Even a 14.20m will not put her in the top 16. Her best is 14.11m and that also she has not been consistent at that.

"She needs more speed and her techniques are not so good. In long jump, she has changed her technique from swing jump to cyclic jump recently, she should have done much earlier," she said.

Anju has made it to the final round of the World Championships thrice -- finishing third, fifth and ninth in 2003, 2005 and 2007. She won a silver in the World Athletics final in 2005 in Monaco while finishing fifth and fourth in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

She rued she could have won bigger laurels had she had got government financial support in time.

"I wanted to go for a six-month training in United States in 2004 after winning a bronze in 2003 in Paris. But I had to run around in Delhi for two months for the sanction of the money. It's a lengthy process to get your money sanctioned," Anju said.

"I dropped the foreign training idea after that experience," she added. Anju said that she remained unlucky in her career and could not fulfil the dream of winning an Olympic medal in Athens Games in 2004 due to sickness.

"After the 2003 World Championships bronze in Paris in 2003, I was very confident that I would win a medal in Athens. But I fell ill, I had fever just before the competition. I failed to give my best and finished sixth," she rued.

Anju had tried to qualify for the London Olympics but had to drop the idea after she had a bad fall on the tracks while training for qualification events last month.

"I had a bad fall on the track and I injured my neck and my hopes for London Olympics qualification ended there. In the present condition, I don't think I can make a comeback," said Anju, who is now a mother of two-year-old son.

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