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‘Wait was worth it’

Anju Bobby George

New Delhi: Long jumper Anju Bobby George on Tuesday expressed happiness after her second-placed finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Finals was upgraded to a gold, saying the frustrating time she endured for the last nine years was worth the wait.

Anju became the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold at a major world event after the IAAF upgraded her second-place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics to the top spot, following a doping violation by Russian competitor Tatyana Kotova.

“I have been told by the AFI that I will get the gold at the Monaco World Athletics. I am really happy and the wait was worth it,” she said.

“I had always some doubt about some of the top Russian women long jumpers of my time and I knew that they could have been doping,” she said.

Kotova was last year caught for doping after her samples collected during the 2005 World Athletics in Helsinki was found to contain traces of banned substance.

The IAAF had re-analysed samples, apparently in line with the International Olympic Committee’s decision to retest eight-year old samples, dating back to the 2004 Athens Olympics, in order to deter dope cheats.

The 2005 Monaco World Athletics Finals (September 9-10), competed by top eight athletes of that time, was held a few weeks after the 2005 World Athletics Championships (August 6-14) in Helsinki, and hence Kotova’s result in the latter event has now been deleted from the record books.

The Athletics Federation of India is yet to receive the official communication from the IAAF though the world body's website has updated the results with Anju is now being listed as the gold medal winner with an effort of 6.75m.

Adille Sumariwala, the AFI president, said that he is expecting the official communication from IAAF shortly.

“The IAAF website has updated Anju as the gold winner. We are yet to be officially communicated by the IAAF. I am waiting for the official documents in a day or two,” he said. “Anju is now the only Indian track and field athlete to have won a gold medal in a world meet,” he added.

Anju, whose fifth-place finish in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships was also upgraded to fourth following the disqualification of Kotova (who finished second), said that she is now expecting a similar happening in the 2004 Athens Olympics results.

The IAAF deputy general secretary as well as Communications Director Nick Davies confirmed that Anju will get the gold medal of the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Final.

“Yes, on behalf of IAAF, I can confirm that Bobby George was upgraded to the 1st place at the WAF in Monaco in 2005. This is confirmed in the athlete’s biography,” he said in an e-mail reply.       (PTI)