SINGAPORE: Singaporean sprinter Shanti Pereira added another glorious chapter to her athletic journey by clinching the gold medal in the 200m race at the Asian Games.
She cruised to victory with a timing of 23.03sec at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Oct. 2 (Monday).
This is not far off from her 200m personal best of 22.57sec.
China’s Li Yuting came in second in 23.28sec, while Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong took bronze in 23.48sec.
On Oct.1, Pereira had also claimed a silver in the women’s 100m, losing out narrowly to China’s Ge Manqi by a mere 0.04 seconds.
S’pore’s first athletics gold medal at the Asian Games in almost 50 years
Singapore secures its first athletics gold medal at the Asian Games in nearly half a century.
The last Singaporean to attain this distinction was Chee Swee Lee, who accomplished this remarkable feat in the women’s 400m event during the 1974 Games in Teheran, Iran.
This significant victory in the 200m race marked Shanti Pereira’s debut in the Asian Games final for this event.
Times as per website! WHAT A WIN SHANTI PEREIRA pic.twitter.com/FM5tnZetPN
— Matthew Mohan (@MatthewMohanCNA) October 2, 2023
This victory carries historical weight for Singapore, marking their first athletics gold medal since 1974.
Pereira’s achievement was met with an outpouring of congratulatory messages from senior politicians, notable personalities, and various groups, underlining the pride and joy her success has brought to the nation.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
PM Lee took to Facebook to offer her congratulations to Shanti, characterizing her historic triumph as a “brilliant victory.”
President Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Meanwhile, President Tharman also took to Facebook to explain why Pereira’s gold medal was so “epic.”
“It’s our first in athletics at the Asian Games in almost 50 years. Chee Swee Lee gave Singapore its first and only gold in 1974, in the 400m. And our first gold ever in the sprints at the Games.
“And against a much larger field of competition, especially from much larger countries, than was the case before.
“Shanti shows what we can achieve. With personal guts and determination. First class coaches. Strong and patient support from our national bodies. And a population cheering for our sportspersons.”
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat
Heng, serving as the anchor minister of East Coast GRC, stated, “Shanti, who is a East Coast resident, has shown us where sheer perseverance and determination can take us.”
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong
Wong cheered to Pereira as the new 200m Asian Champion, stating that it was a “remarkable journey,” and that everyone is very proud of her achievement.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong
In contrast, Tong expressed his delight with a straightforward declaration, saying, “She did it!!!! Gold for Shanti!”
Minister for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling
Ling remarked that Shanti has not only etched her name in history but has also instilled profound pride in Singaporeans’ hearts.
“…may your journey continue to inspire our future generations!” she said.
Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh
Singh shared that he watched the race at the void deck and the Meet-the-People session paused briefly to celebrate Pereira’s triumph.
Veteran diplomat Tommy Koh
Koh posted a picture of the Women’s 200m Final result board and conveyed his emotion with the words, “Shanti we love you,” concluding his message with a “Bravo.”
The official Twitter account for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 also dedicated a moment to offer their congratulations to Shanti Pereira for her remarkable accomplishment.
Two days after winning silver in Athletics, Women's 100m event, Singapore's Pereira Veronica Shanti defeated China's Li Yuting (Silver) and Bahrain's Odiong Edidiong Ofonime(Bronze) to take the gold in Women's 200m event at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou. Congrats!#Hangzhou… pic.twitter.com/o25ct4oH2s
— The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou Official (@19thAGofficial) October 2, 2023
Singapore Athletics, one of the country’s oldest sports associations and the national governing body for athletics, also shared their commendation and congratulations to Shanti on their Instagram account.
They expressed, “A fairtytale ending to the greatest story ever told. Shanti is Pure Gold. Forever and always an icon of Singapore sporting history.”
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