Lausanne (Switzerland): Anju Bobby Geroge, the first Indian athlete to win a medal in a World Championships, has bagged the World Athletics’ ‘Woman of the Year’ award for her inspiring role in promoting the sport in India. The World Athletics announced her name at the awards ceremony held virtually on Wednesday in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Anju made history when she won the bronze medal in the long jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris.
Anju, a senior vice-president of the Indian Athletics Federation, mentors many young girls through her training academy which has already helped many to shine at international level athletics meets, including U-20 gold medallist Shaili Singh. She is also chairman of the Indian Olympic Association’s Athletes Commission.
Meanwhile, Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway were named the Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021. Thompson-Herah retained her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and added a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay.
In an official release, Thompson-Herah said that she went very close to the world record.
“I just take it year by year. I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible,” she said. “The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target. It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully, in Eugene, I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on,” she added.
Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 seconds in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.
“I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.”
Bobby Kersee, the US coach who has guided the careers of many legendary athletes, bagged the Coaching Achievement Award. This year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline, World Athletics said in a release.