HANGZHOU, CHINA — When Shanti Pereira sprinted to Singapore’s first athletics Asian Games gold in 49 years no one was prouder than her parents watching from the stands in Hangzhou.
Pereira draped herself in the Singapore flag after her 200m triumph and ran towards mum, dad and boyfriend Tan Zong Yang, a former athlete, in the crowd.
The 27-year-old Pereira quit her job as a copywriter this year to become a full-time athlete, a leap of faith that has clearly paid off.
“So proud, so proud to see that. I just got emotional,” dad Clarence said after her gold, according to Channel News Asia.
“What we hoped for her to do, she did. I’m still in a daze.”
It was Singapore’s first athletics gold since the Tehran Asiad in 1974, when Chee Swee Lee won the women’s 400m, and only the third in history.
Mum Jeet said the tension before Monday night’s race — which Pereira won in 23.03sec, well clear of China’s Li Yuting in second — was unbearable.
“Waiting for the event to take place was really nerve-wracking, prayers were really important,” she said.
Of the recent move to become a professional sprinter, Pereira said: “When I had the chance, I jumped right in.”
The move enabled her to lower her own national record four times in 2023, from 23.46sec to the 22.57sec she ran in August’s World Championships in Budapest.
“I knew I crossed the line first, and I was like ‘Oh my God’,” said Pereira of her Hangzhou heroics.
“What a season. It’s been so crazy, it means a lot to me. I can’t really describe this.”
Pereira was a whisker away from double gold at the Games, pipped by just 0.04sec to 100m gold by China’s Ge Manqi.
Pereira said she never dreamed of two medals.
“I wanted to do this, I loved to do this, but this exact position, I never thought it was possible,” she said.
DPM Wong defends SA closure for 55+, netizens demand autonomy for their own CPF savings
Coalition talks intensify as Prabowo-Gibran leads Presidential quick count
SDP Chief Chee Soon Juan receives POFMA order for comments on HDB policies
Indonesia Election update: Prabowo-Gibran commanding lead with 58.91%
AGC to evaluate further action on Kenneth Jeyaretnam over alleged falsehoods
Singapore fines man S$30,000 for illegally importing 2 tonnes of meat
Kenneth Jeyaretnam criticizes MSF’s POFMA on NCMP Leong Mun Wai’s Facebook post
SCDF annual report reveals 31% surge in AMD-related fires in 2023
Angry participants demand refunds for ‘delayed’ Sky Lantern Festival in Sentosa
SPF: At least 419 victims lost S$1.8M to fake buyer phishing scams since January
Love Aid Singapore raises US$60,000 in two days for Palestinians iftar meals
Indonesian lecturers spark “#JanganJadiDosen” movement, demand academic welfare reform
Singapore2 weeks ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Singapore1 week ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Featured1 week ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments1 week ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society1 week ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society6 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion
International1 week ago
Singapore Police investigate two events amid Israel’s genocide in Gaza