Singapore sprinter Shanti Pereira made history on Monday by winning the women’s 200m gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
She clocked 23.03s to beat China’s Li Yuting and Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong, becoming the first Singaporean to win an athletics gold medal at the Asian Games since 1974.
Pereira had never reached the 200m final at the Asian Games before. She was eliminated in the semi-finals in the previous edition in 2018.
Pereira, who also won a silver medal in the women’s 100m on Saturday, was overwhelmed by emotion after her stunning victory.
She said she never thought it was possible to achieve such a feat, and thanked her family and coach for their support.
In May, she made history by becoming the first Singaporean woman to claim both the sprint titles at the SEA Games.
She repeated the feat in July at the Asian Athletics Championships.
In August, she reached another milestone by becoming the first Singaporean to advance to the semi-finals of the World Championships in the 200m.
She also secured her spot for the same event at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The 27-year-old also received hundreds of heartfelt messages online, with Singaporeans expressing pride that they have got a champion of their own.
Simply unreal. This will take sometime to sink in.— Deepanraj Ganesan (@deeppaann) October 2, 2023
Shanti Pereira is an Asian Games gold medalist.
First Athletics gold medal at the Asiad for Singapore since 1974.
Champion. Our very own. pic.twitter.com/6MYZzQM3j9
What an incredible achievement. An historic moment for Singapore sports. Shanti Pereira was magnificent and absolutely destroyed that 200m final. So lucky to be able to witness it. #AsianGames pic.twitter.com/2WyUb8Hm6n— Rhysh Roshan Rai (@RhyshRai) October 2, 2023
Meanwhile, a Twitter user joked about how the sprinter has roots in India and therefore she won it for them.
Veronica Shanti Pereira, who just won in the women's 200m– the first Asian Games athletics gold for Singapore in 49 years, has her roots in Kottayam, Kerala. Preemptively claiming this medal for India pic.twitter.com/UdFDf09mZe— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) October 2, 2023