Team Singapore

Shanti to join centralised training in Taiwan

Singapore's sprint queen Shanti Pereira will join the women's 4x100m squad in centralised training next month, after she competes in the Asian Athletics Championships in India.

The 20-year-old and her father met with her personal coach Margaret Oh and Singapore Athletics (SA) technical director Volker Herrmann yesterday to resolve differences that arose from the training camp.

Oh had earlier voiced her concern that the physical demands of travelling to Taiwan and taking part in the centralised training would tire her athlete out, and also that the climate in Taiwan is dissimilar to that of Malaysia, the venue of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in August.

The Asian Athletics Championships takes place from July 6 to 9, while the two-week training camp begins in about mid-July.

But, Herrmann warned that Pereira would be dropped from the SEA Games relay team if she doesn't join her national teammates in Taiwan.

Both parties reached an agreement after yesterday's meeting.

Pereira said: "My dad met with Volker Hermann and Margaret Oh today and they had a good, positive discussion.

"Running in the relay is equally important to me as the individual events and what I need is 100 per cent support from all parties.

"At the end of the day, we must all be united for that one goal, which is to win and do Singapore proud."

When contacted yesterday, Oh said: "We will just try to work together, for Shanti's sake.

"We want Shanti to defend her title in KL, and also to win another title."

Herrmann was also pleased with the outcome of the meeting.

He said: "Of course (I am happy the situation is resolved), I think it's best for everybody.

"We will be conducting just three relay sessions over the two weeks, and the rest of the sessions are up to the individual coaches.

"Relay training is kind of intensive, and we will also try to slightly increase the intensity and the volume of the intensity during this training camp, so you'd need a certain amount of time to recover from these sessions and from my experience it'd be a bit tough to conduct more sessions.

"But we'd have minor sessions where we work on baton passing and other skills."

The venue for the camp, though, is still in the air, as SA president Ho Mun Cheong has publicly said he is not in favour of Taiwan, due to the climate, among other reasons.

Herrmann said: "My advice as the technical director is to go to Taiwan. We need to increase the intensity of the training and have proper recovery at the same time.

"Singapore might not be the best place to do it because of the distractions, such as school. Ultimately, though, it is up to the SA management committee to decide." - LIM SAY HENG

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