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India may win Olympic medal in 2024: Bobby George
When you are aiming for the world level, you have to give the best to athletes to make them compete at higher levels and every need of the athletes has to be taken care of, opined Dronacharya Award winner and five times champion in triple jump Robert Bobby George
Dronacharya awardee says NIDJAM should be held every year in Tirupati, but a synthetic track is needed
Tirupati: “When you are aiming for the world level, you have to give the best to athletes to make them compete at higher levels and every need of the athletes has to be taken care of,” opined Dronacharya Award winner and five times champion in triple jump Robert Bobby George.
Speaking to The Hans India during the ongoing NIDJAM (National Inter District Junior Athletics Meet 2018) at SVU Tarakarama Stadium here on Sunday, he said that arrangements for the NIDJAM were amazing and they could be held here only every year.
Everything was good and the officials had well taken care of all aspects, he said adding that if there was synthetic track instead of the mud track, it would have been excellent. It may be recalled that Bobby George has been training the Indian team in long jump since 1999.
Prior to that he was the national champion in triple jump for five consecutive years since 1996 which he has to quit because of a bad injury and he immediately turned into a coach.
He had been training his wife Anju Bobby George who made history when she won the bronze medal in long jump at World Championships held in Paris in 2003. She was the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Championships.
Under the training of coach Bobby George, she became top rated Indian athlete and stood at No. 4 in world rankings. He trained her to win a Bronze in Commonwealth Games in 2002, Gold medal at Busan Asian Games in 2002 and many such awards. He said that she was very close to Olympic medal too which she missed due to fake doping charges in 2004.
As a coach, Bobby has been working with Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) as ‘high performance specialist coach’ for national teams. He sets his target straight on 2024 Olympic games to be held in Paris and now engaged in training Indian junior team.
By 2024, there will be no more juniors and can compete in Olympics, he said. “There are six athletes in Junior team now practicing long jump. My aim is to train them to compete for a medal at Olympics. Before Olympics there are other tournaments also in which they will participate though the ultimate goal is Olympic medal,” he stressed.
Bobby said that athletes needed special coaching and it should be ensured that they should not be met with any injuries. For this, training should be in a more scientific way. The junior team has been under training at SAI, Bengaluru.
In addition to what SAI has been providing the athletes at the training centre, Anju George Foundation has also been taking care of the trainees.
It has been providing them education at international schools, diet and nutrition supplements, travel and hospitality support. He expressed the hope that India may win the Olympic medal in 2024.