The 43-year-old is India’s only medallist in the World Athletics Championships.
Anju Bobby George was elected as Senior Vice President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) at its annual general meeting on Saturday. The 2003 World Championship bronze medal winner expressed delight at the increasing number of women in the executive council and said she is looking forward to serving the sport in her new capacity.
Besides Anju Bobby George, former long-distance runner Suman Rawat Mehta (Vice President), former middle-distance runner C Latha (Joint Secretary) and A Hyma (executive council member) were the other women who were elected to the executive council for the four-year term.
“I have taken up other roles before this. Having served the country as an athlete and winning laurels for the country at the highest level, I believe I can connect well with all athletes and coaches to take India forward,” said Anju Bobby George.
Adille J. Sumariwalla was elected unopposed as President for his third term while Ravinder Chaudhary and Madhukant Pathak were elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Sumariwalla remarked, “We will continue making every effort for India to win an Olympic medal. With very good support from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, we have actively pursued this vision.”
On the first day of the two-day annual general meeting, some key issues including age-fraud, doping and over-training were taken up. The house agreed that while AFI has taken many steps to curb age-fraud, State and district associations needed to be more proactive in ending the scourge of age-fraud that leaves athletes.
The AFI President made an impassioned plea to the state association representatives to educate athletes on the evils of doping. He said, “We hope the National Anti-Doping Agency will resume testing without any loss of time.”
In response to claims by some non-members about the legality of Sumariwalla’s nomination for his third term, AFI clarified that he filed nomination not only as a President of Maharashtra Athletics Association but also as outgoing AFI President, as allowed by AFI Constitution (Clause XXVIII.A.e) which specifies the President need not require representation either to sit in meetings or even to contest election for the next tenure.