SINGAPORE: On Wednesday (23 Aug), Shanti Pereira, the sprint sensation from Singapore, blazed into the semi-finals of the women’s 200m event at the World Athletics Championships, hosted at Budapest’s National Athletics Centre.
Notably, she shattered her own national record during this impressive feat.
With a remarkable time of 22.57 seconds, Pereira eclipsed her previous national record of 22.69 seconds.
In her heat, she secured a second-place finish, trailing behind Shericka Jackson, the reigning world champion from Jamaica.
Advancing to the semi-finals were the top three athletes from each of the six heats, accompanied by competitors with the six swiftest times from the remaining participants.
Overall, Pereira clinched the 12th position.
Her performance not only met the qualifying criteria for the 2024 Olympics in Paris but also marked a historic achievement for Singapore Athletics.
She became the pioneer Singaporean athlete to attain an Olympic qualifying standard in track and field events.
Pereira’s bid for a place in the women’s 100m semi-finals fell short on Sunday, as she recorded a time of 11.33 seconds.
Singapore Athletics proudly announced that Shanti Pereira secured her place as the inaugural Singaporean to reach the semi-finals of a World Championships event.
Her presence in this prestigious competition was earned through her exceptional skills, rather than receiving a wildcard entry.
“With this astounding performance, Shanti has met the Qualifying Mark for the 2024 Paris Olympics which was set at exactly 22.57s.”
“She is the first Singaporean athlete to ever meet an Olympic Qualifying Mark in Athletics. She is also the first Singaporean to ever progress past the Heats at a World Championships.”
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.
The pinnacle of her year remains the Asian Games in Hangzhou from 23 September to 8 October, where she stands as a strong contender for the gold medal after her remarkable achievements in 2023.