Tokyo 2020: Athletes need to take charge of their career, says Anju

Anju Bobby George, the country's lone World championship medallist in athletics, feels athletes should not depend too much on the national federation.

Anju Bobby George, the country's lone World championship medallist in athletics, feels athletes should not depend too much on the national federation.   -  M. Moorthy

The disappointment of the first week of the Olympics is bound to carry over to the second week and put more pressure on athletes in Tokyo, feels Anju Bobby George.

“Definitely, that will be there, we can't help it. We expected a lot, a first-day medal at the Olympics (by weightlifter Mirabai Chanu) means a lot and we expected more. But that did not happen,” said Anju, the country's lone World championship medallist, in a chat with Sportstar on Thursday.

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“It's all in the mind so we'll have to decide. May be it's a one-second thing. The moment you think, I'm not able to do it, everything is gone, everything goes upside down. The pressure is like that at the top level.”

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She also felt that it's now time for athletes to take charge of their career instead of depending too much on the national federation.

“Normally in other countries, they get competitions through their manager. They go steadily from small competitions to higher-level meets. But Indian athletes always look to the AFI, SAI or the ministry and complain that they are not being sent abroad, that they don't have competitions.

“You have to do that through professional managers and plan well in advance. We have to decide which competition we are aiming for and through that how we need to peak and where we need to travel. It is our decision. Here in India we always keep blaming the system.”

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