Easy 200m victory for Shanti
Singapore sprint queen wins pet event but cites fatigue for slow time
Her time was not exceptional, but it was still enough to blow her rivals away at the National Stadium.
National sprint queen Veronica Shanti Pereira yesterday cantered to victory in her pet 200m event at the 78th Singapore Open Track and Field Championship, clocking 24.04sec.
Even though the time was nowhere near her national record of 23.60 she clocked to claim a SEA Games gold on home soil last June, she still finished comfortably ahead of second-placed Zaidatul Husnia Zulkifli of Malaysia (24.36) and Vietnam's Thi Oanh Nguyen (24.48), who finished third.
Shanti was all smiles post-race.
"I'm very happy," she said.
"After yesterday, I had three races so I was feeling a bit tired today.
"After running (the heats) in the morning today, I was also a bit tired but I was pumped up because I knew there was going to be a crowd, even if it's for the Nationals (Schools meet).
"It's my favourite event and I was quite excited, so I guess that helped me."
Shanti certainly has had reason to smile recently.
Last month, the 19-year-old Republic Polytechnic student was named among 72 Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) recipients.
This group of elite sportsmen and women are given greater support in areas like sports science and medicine, stipends and career planning.
Shanti will run in the Taiwan Open (May 19 and 20) and possibly the Thailand Open (July 4 to 7) in a bid to meet the qualification mark of 23.28 for a ticket to the Rio Olympics in August.
But she is planning to take things slow.
"Other than the Taiwan and Thailand Open, I don't have anything else," she said.
"I'll probably end my season in August, and then I start a five-month internship from September.
"Then it'll just be my off-season training. I end the internship in February so it's just nice to start training to peak again."
Shanti said that will be when she might consider using some of the spexScholarship funds available to her for overseas training stints, as she looks to defend her SEA Games title in Malaysia next year.
She has had two stints overseas in the past, for three weeks in Germany and 10 days in Thailand, and said: "From my previous experiences, training overseas has been very beneficial.
"If the window of opportunity opens, it'll definitely be something I'd want to do."