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Anju falls with a thud, finishes poor sixth

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 24 (UNI) Anju Bobby George's hopes of a second successive medal in the Commonwealth Games were buried in the sands of the long jump pit at the historic MCG Stadium as the lanky Indian finished a poor sixth here tonight.

The 29-year-old Chennai-based Custom officer cleared 6.54m in her third attempt to finish sixth in the field of 12 jumpers and failed to retain the bronze which she had won at Manchester Games in 2002.

Australian Bronwyn Thompson won the gold with a new Games record of 6.97, which she cleared in her second attempt. The earlier Games record of 6.78 was set by Australia's Shonel Ferguson in 1982.

Kerrie Taurima, also of Australia took silver in 6.57 while Seychelles's Celina Laporte took the bronze with 6.57.

Eighteen months ago, Anju had finished sixth at the Athens Olympics but had the satisfaction of achieving a national record of 6.83 metres in the Greek capital. But today it was simply a disaster for her.

Anju came here as the highest ranked Commonwealth athlete in long jump. She, in fact, was ranked No. 4 for a long time before coming down by a place in this week's rankings.

Being the No. 1 in the Commonwealth family, Anju should have been the favourite here. However, her pre-meet form had not been very encouraging and the worst fear came true as Bronwyn Thompson walked away with the gold.

There were two competitions going on within the women's long jump event -- one between Bronwyn Thompson and her best and the other among the rest.

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