With all due respect to every one of the other 430 athletes in Hangzhou representing Singapore in the Asian Games, this Asian Games is the Shanti Pereira Games.
Indeed, just two days after winning Singapore’s first track and field medal at the Asian Games since 1974, she doubled that feat by picking up a gold in the 200m, her pet event, on 2 October at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium.
She clocked 23.03s to clinch the gold, ahead of China’s Li Yuting (23.28s) and Bahrain’s Edidiong Ofonime Odiong (23.48s).
The gold medal in her pet event – the 200m – ensured that she further stamped in her name into the Singapore sporting annals.
A name which will remain on the lips of many Singaporeans for years to come.
SOCIAL MEDIA ALIGHT
On social media, she has been feted.
Posts which have been put up by news outlets have been liked and reshared.
Even political office holders have stepped up to congratulate Asia’s fastest woman in the 200m, after she ran her way to a silver in the 100m earlier.
WHY IS SHANTI PEREIRA A LEGEND
The 27-year-old was first cast into the limelight when she picked up the gold medal in the 200m at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore.
Back then she clocked 23.60s to win the gold on home ground.
Fast forward to 2023.In May this year, she became the first woman to win the 100m and 200m at the SEA Games in Cambodia.
Then in July, she did exactly the same at the Asian Athletics Championship.
In September, she became the first Singaporean to make a World Championships semi-final in the 200m, and met the qualifying mark to represent Singapore at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The last Singaporean to win an athletics gold was Chee Swee Lee in the 1974 Asian Games in Teheran.
Her sporting achievements almost guarantees that Pereira will end up as Singapore’s Sportswoman of the Year the next time the award is given out in 2024.