Shanti aims to retain SEA Games 200m gold
She could not have asked for a better boost ahead of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Shanti Pereira proved that she is shaping up well less than four months before the biennial Games by winning two gold medals in the women's 100m and 200m at the 79th Singapore Open Track and Field Championships 2017 at the National Stadium on Friday.
In her first race, the Republic's sprint queen clocked 23.87 seconds in the 200m final, ahead of Malaysian duo Zaidatul Zulkifli (23.94) and Komal Selvaretnam (24.30).
Shanti's timing met the SEA Games' qualifying mark of 23.92 for the 200m. Her personal best is 23.60, set at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil when she won a historic gold medal.
In the 100m final, the 20-year-old clocked 11.87 to win gold ahead of compatriots Dipna Lim-Prasad (12.25) and Wendy Enn (12.34).
Shanti's timing also bettered the SEA Games' qualifying mark of 11.88, but she had already met that mark when she clocked 11.85 in a meet in New Zealand in January.
"I am very happy with my performance today," Shanti told The New Paper. "My aim coming into this competition was to qualify for the SEA Games in the 200m and I did it."
When asked about her targets for August's SEA Games, Shanti said: "My target is to retain my gold medal in the 200m. The bronze medal in the 100m at the last SEA Games was very unexpected, so my expectation for the 100m this time is to place (in the top three)."
While the plans for her overseas training camp in the lead-up to the SEA Games have not been confirmed, Shanti revealed that she will be taking part in the Thailand Open (June 12-15) and the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships (July 6-9) in India.
Meanwhile, the national men's 4x100m relay team comprising Calvin Kang, Timothee Yap, Hariz Darajit and Khairyll Amri clocked 40.34sec to finish second behind Thailand (40.27).
"This is our first race in this line-up, so 40.34 is not too bad," said 27-year-old Kang, who ran the third leg of the race.
"We can still improve on our passing and our individual timings."