SINGAPORE: In an exceptional display of athletic prowess, Singaporean sprinter Shanti Pereira has clinched her place in the highly anticipated World Athletics Championships (WAC), scheduled to unfold from 19 August to 27 August.
Aged 26, Pereira’s journey to the prestigious event is nothing short of remarkable.
Notably, she has not only earned her qualification but has also etched her name into the annals of history as the first Singaporean athlete in over a decade to attain her WAC berth solely on the merits of her performance, rather than through a wild card entry.
The pathway to securing a direct qualification for this biennial competition involves meeting the entry standard by the 30 July deadline, with any remaining slots allocated to athletes based on their world rankings positions.
A comprehensive scoring system, considering athletes’ performance, placements, and the level of competition they engage in, determines the allocation of points. The total points accumulated subsequently contribute to the athletes’ world rankings.
According to the Straits Times, Shanti Pereira’s prowess on the track has been well-documented, particularly in the women’s 100m and 200m categories. Her participation in the biennial meet stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication and unparalleled skill in the field of athletics.
Ranked 47th and 23rd respectively in 100m and 200m categories world ranking
Within the 100m and 200m categories, a total of 48 spots were available for contention. For the former category, 24 sprinters successfully met the rigorous entry standard of 11.08 seconds, while another 24 athletes earned their spots through their commendable world rankings.
Shanti Pereira, whose personal best record in the 100m stands at 11.20 seconds, held the 47th spot in the global rankings by the culmination of the qualification period, amassing 1,220 points.
Impressively, she qualified as the 36th highest entrant due to the stipulation that each country can have a maximum of three entrants, with an exception made for Jamaica, who boasts four representatives due to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s role as the defending champion.
Similarly, in the 200m category, 26 women achieved the qualifying time of 22.60 seconds, while another 22 secured their positions through their commendable world rankings.
Ms Pereira, who holds a personal best of 22.69 seconds this season, a national record, remarkably claimed the second spot on the world rankings list, amassing 1,228 points.
From national records to international glory
Pereira’s recent athletic feats have solidified her status as a force to be reckoned with.
Earlier in July, Ms Pereira secured gold in both the 100m and 200m events at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok.
She even rewrote her national 100m record for the sixth time this year, clocking an astonishing 11.20 seconds, and claimed victory in the 200m event while establishing a new meet record of 22.70 seconds.
Notably, Pereira’s exceptional performances have also brought an end to Singapore’s 16-year medal drought at the regional meet.
In May, she became the first Singaporean woman to triumph in both the 100m and 200m events in a single edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Throughout this year, she has broken the national 200m record three times, with her most remarkable effort being 22.69 seconds at the SEA Games in Cambodia, which also stands as a meet record.
In the lead-up to the World Athletics Championships, Pereira has dedicated herself to rigorous training and competitive participation in Europe.
A notable highlight includes her victory at the Mittsommernacht Athletics meet on 30 July, where she triumphed over German athlete Gina Luckenkemper, reigning European 100m and 4x100m relay champion, securing the gold in the 200m event.
Further solidifying her dominance, Pereira emerged victorious in the same event at the Folksam Grand Prix held in Malmo, Sweden, earlier this August.