It takes Anju Bobby George a little time to warm up to people. And once this normally reticent and intense athlete does get talking, she is animated and the smile never leaves her face. But behind that cheery demeanour is a steely will that has seen her through thick and thin.
It is not easy to sit back at home and watch an Olympic Games when you know you could have been there yourself competing with the world’s best. That’s the pain Anju had to endure between 1997 and 2000. Time and again, just when she seemed to be running into form, she would be pulled down by an injury. She was a fair bet for the squad for the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. But injury struck. In 1999, after her silver medal in the South Asian Federation meet, the story repeated itself and she was forced to sit at home and watch the Olympics on TV. She admits there were times when she got so frustrated that she wanted to give up athletics and get on with her life.