Roads named after Anju Bobby George, P. Bharathan Nair in Changanassery

The Changanassery Municipal Council passed a resolution on Friday to name the roads after the two sports stars from the region.

Anju Bobby George, India’s first World Championships medallist in athletics.   -  M. Moorthy

Two sporting greats, Olympian long jumper Anju Bobby George and the late volleyball international P. Bharathan Nair, now have roads in their name in their hometown Changanassery.

The Changanassery Municipal Council passed a resolution on Friday to name the roads after the two stars.

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“We had this in mind for a long time, so when I got the chance, we did this. I took over as chairman just two months ago,” said Sajan Francis, the Chaganassery Municipal Council chairman. “The council took a decision on this today.”

Incidentally, both the roads are near the Municipal Stadium in Changanassery.

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“This is a big surprise for me and I’m really honoured since it’s in my hometown,” Anju, India’s first World Championships medallist in athletics with her bronze in Paris in 2003, said from Bengaluru. “I think the road is about 7km from my home.”

‘Not exactly a surprise’



Paris was also among the high points of Bharathan Nair’s volleyball career. The attacker played the World Championships there in 1956, the last time India figured in the event. He also guided India to its first ever Asian Games medal in volleyball, a bronze in 1958 in Tokyo.

“My mom and I are very happy but this is not exactly a surprise because there has been a move regarding this in the last couple of years,” Bharathan’s son Pravin B. Nair said from Mumbai.

Bharathan, who was with the Army, was also the captain of the Services team when it won the National title for the first time in 1956 in Allahabad. “Dad played his first senior National only the previous year, in 1955,” said Pravin. “He was also a good long jumper and swimmer when he was young. He joined the Railway later and was posted in Mumbai.”

Bharathan died in 2007 at the age of 81.

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