Anju Bobby George of India wins bronze in the long jump (Getty Images) © Copyright
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India selects three athletes for Helsinki

A three member team consisting of long jumper Anju Bobby George, the World bronze medallist at Paris, and Discus throwers Vikas Gowda and Neelam Jaswant Singh will represent India in this year’s 10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Finland (6 – 14 August).

Announcing the team at Bangalore yesterday (6 July), Dr. Lalit K Bhanot, secretary of the Athletics Federation of India informed the media that the selection was based on the current performances of the athletes concerned.

“More athletes had already attained the qualification standards for Helsinki from last year’s meets, but we have looked into the present form of the athletes and their consistency in maintaining the performance level” he added.

Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF

Vikas Gowda
Born: 5 July 1983 at Mysore (Karnataka State)
Height: 206 cm, Weight: 125 kg
A student in statistics at the University of North Carolina, United States
* Coached by father Shive Gowda
* Represented India at the World Junior Championships at Kingston 2002 and finished 8th in Shot Put with national junior mark of 19.30m and 12th in Discus Throw with 54.46m (56.93m at qualifying round)
* Represented India at the Olympic Games at Athens 2004 and finished 8th in the qualifiers (61.39), and thus narrowly missed selection to the finals.
* Set national records in discus throw with--
64.35 (Salinas, 19 May 2004) and 64.69 (Charlotte, 2 April 2005)
* Silver medalist in NCAA at Sacramento (60.08m, 2005)
Personal & Season’s Best: 64.69m, Charlotte, 2 April 2005
Current IAAF World Ranking, Men’s Discus Throw: 28

Anju Bobby George
Born: 19 April 1977 at Cheeranchira (Kerala State)
Height: 177 cm, Weight: 62 kg
Employed with the Indian customs department
* Coached by husband Bobby George
* Made history when becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the World Championships at Paris Saint-Denis (3rd in Long Jump, 6.70m)
* Was 6th in the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 with a NR 6.83m
* Was 7th in the Indoor Worlds at Birmingham (6.40m, 2003)
* Gold medalist in Asian Games at Busan 2002 (6.53m)
* Bronze medalist in Commonwealth Games 2002 (6.49m, Manchester)
* Holder national triple jump record at 13.67m (2002)
Personal Best: 6.83m, Athens, 27 Aug 2004
Season’s Best: 6.42m, Doha, 13 May 2005
Current IAAF World Ranking, Women’s Long Jump: 6

Neelam Jaswant Singh
Born: 8 January 1971 at Julana Village (Haryana State)
Height: 167 cm,  Weight: 85 kg
Employed with the Indian Railways
* Coached by husband Jaswant Singh
* Winner of Asian championships 2000 (60.75m) and Asian Games 2002 (64.55m)
* Silver medalist in Commonwealth Games (58.49m, 2002 Manchester)
* Gold medalist in Afro-Asian Games (61.94m, 2003 Hyderabad)
* Finalist in the World Championship at Paris Saint-Denis (12th)
* Bronze medalist in Asian Games (Bangkok 1998)
Personal Best: 64.55m, Busan, 10 Oct 2002
Season’s Best: 60.65m, Patiala, 21 May 2005
Current IAAF World Ranking, Women’s Discus Throw: 27