Anju Bobby George, the former long jump world champion, was on 24 November 2015 appointed as the chairperson of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). She will be assuming the charge in the first week of December 2015.
Her appointment was approved by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The post of the chairperson was lying vacant after the resignation of Anurag Thakur, the BJP parliamentarian and Secretary, Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
She is presently a member of the TOPS' identification committee, which also includes national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid.
About Anju Bobby George
- Anju from Kerala was the first Indian athlete who won the bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships held in Paris in 2003.
- In 2005, she with a jump of 6.75 meters had won a silver medal at the Monte Carlo World Athletics Championships. However, in 2014, she was declared winner of Monte Carlo Athletic Championship by the IAAF following disqualification of Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova of Russia for doping.
- She received the Arjuna award in 2003, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2004 and was conferred Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award in 2004.
- The TOP Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
- The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
- For this purpose, a committee named Top Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee under the chairmanship of Anurag Thakur was constituted. Other members of the committee were Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and MC Mary Kom.
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