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Anju bags bronze, gold for Marion

Bangalore: Anju Bobby George won the bronze medal in the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Grand Prix in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday with a career best but wind-aided leap of 6.83m.

American sprint-queen Marion Jones, who suffered a rare defeat in the women’s 100m finishing fifth, won the long jump gold with a big leap of 6.93m.

Her compatriot and world No. 6 Grace Upshaw clinched the silver, touching down at 6.88m at the University of Oregon, according to information received here.

Anju, the world championship bronze medallist and India’s biggest hope in the Athens Olympics, is ranked fourth in the world.

This was Anju’s second wind-aided 6.8m plus jump after winning the gold in the Super Grand Prix in Doha where she recorded a distance of 6.82 on May 14. The tail wind recorded on Saturday was 2.6 metre/second more than the limit of 2.0 m/s.

On June 8, the 27-year-old had finished fifth in the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic with an effort of 6.59m. Anju holds the national record of 6.74m.

Anju, who has been training in the US after competing in the Ostrava meet, will continue her Olympic preparations in the US before moving to Europe to compete in the Madrid Grand Prix on July 17.

The Prefontaine Classic was not a good outing for sprint stars. Apart from Jones, Maurice Greene was also beaten. Shawn Crawford clocked the year’s fastest 100m, 9.88 seconds, to upset the Olympic champion, who finished runner-up in 9.93. World 200m gold medallist John Capel was third in 9.95.

Jones could only manage the fifth place in her last 100m before next month’s US Olympic trials. “I just didn’t have it,” the Olympic champion said.

Inger Miller won the race, narrowly beating twice former Olympic champion Gail Devers, both timing 11.05 seconds. Jones clocked 11.12.

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