Shanti Pereira: Asia’s Fastest Woman Gets Gold for Singapore

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shanti pereira asia’s fastest woman gets gold for singapore

Shanti Pereira clinched gold for Singapore in the women’s 200m at the Asian Games clocking 23.03 seconds, claiming “Asia’s Fastest Woman” title. She ran past defending champion Edidiong Ofonime Odiong and sealed victory for Singapore, claiming the gold medal after a nearly 50-year hiatus. 

An emotional Pereira said it’s been so crazy. She shared her emotions and excitement. “I just passed the finish line, and I knew I won and I was like what a season this has been, it’s been so crazy. I immediately teared up. It means a lot, it means a lot. I never thought I would be here, but I am.” 

The 27-year-old sprinter is all joy and emotions. “I can’t really describe what I’m feeling right now, it’s so much joy. It’s been incredible.” 

Great Achievement for Singapore

Luis Cunha, Pereira’s coach, showered the young athlete with praise. “For this championship, the most important thing was not time but classification, we knew she was the favorite but she needed to go there and deliver.” 

Lien Choong Luen, Singapore Athletics president, described Pereira’s victory as the country’s first Asiad athletics title since Chee Swee Lee’s gold at the 1974 Games, as “one for the ages”. “We’ve seen consistent improvements in her performances from the Hanoi SEA Games to this year’s World Championship semi-finals. Invaluable in this journey were coach Luis Cunha as well as her family and friends, but most importantly, her own self-belief.”

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Who is Shanti Pereira? 

U.K. Shyam, a former national sprinter, says Pereira has raised the bar. He said it wasn’t surprising that she got the gold. “It’s a new paradigm in Singapore sprinting and athletics. Her season is nothing short of spectacular, and it’s mind-boggling. It’s amazing, I never thought that we would see this in my lifetime.” 

Soh Rui Yong, national marathoner, believes Pereira’s sporting career is a lesson in perseverance. Having first met her in 2014 in Oregon, he said Pereira was a bespectacled, nervous teenager who seemed to love shopping more than sprinting. “Her journey has been one of finding oneself.” Yong said that today, Pereira is a confident, motivated athlete who is able to thrive on pressure rather than letting it break her down.

Shanti Pereira is of Indian origin.

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