Shanti all pumped up for 200m race
Sprint queen in fine form after winning bronze in 100m and setting national mark in heats
The venue was different, and the partisan crowd was cheering for others, but Singaporean sprinters Veronica Shanti Pereira and Dipna Lim-Prasad last night delivered the same SEA Games medals they did two years ago on home soil.
At the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Pereira won the bronze medal in the women's 100m final, while Lim-Prasad clinched the silver medal in the women's 400m hurdles.
Singaporeans will be hoping the duo's "repeat" performance last night will prove a good omen for Pereira, who is defending her 200m title tonight.
The 20-year-old was in high spirits after her bronze-medal run yesterday.
"I was already excited for tomorrow (the 200m race)," she said post-race, in between giggles.
"But I guess this (medal win) is extra motivation for me."
She certainly has reason to be confident.
NEW NATIONAL RECORD
In yesterday morning's heats, she rewrote her own national record in the 100m with a 11.73sec run, shaving 0.07s off the 11.80sec she set at the Singapore Open in April 2015.
Pereira had won bronze at the Singapore SEA Games in June 2015 with a time of 11.88, behind Thailand's Tassaporn Wannakit and photo-finish winner Kayla Richardson of the Philippines (11.76).
"I was already excited for tomorrow (the 200m race).
But I guess this (medal win) is extra motivation for me."Veronica Shanti Pereira
Last night, she clocked 11.76, finishing just 0.02s behind silver medallist Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli.
Vietnam's Le Tu Chinh led from start to finish to win in 11.56.
Le will be aiming to make it a double tomorrow by snatching the 200m title from Pereira.
But the 200m is Pereira's pet event, where the longer distance allows her to use her power to make up for her traditionally poor start.
"Yes. I'm just going to run my best."Pereira, when asked if she is feeling confident ahead of tonight's 200m race
Moreover, Pereira will surely be motivated to defend her crown - her gold in 2015 was Singapore's first triumph in the event at the SEA Games since 1973.
When asked last night if she was feeling confident, she simply replied: "Yes."
She later added: "I'm just going to run my best.
"That's really all I can do."
Pereira was all smiles on the podium as Mani "The Flying Doctor" Jegathesan, Malaysia's sprint king of the 60s, slung the bronze medal around her neck.
Her teammate Lim-Prasad also was also in buoyant mood on the podium last night following her silver in the 400m hurdles event.
The 26-year-old clocked 60.55 to finish behind Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Huyen (56.06).
Two years ago, Lim-Prasad had also finished behind Nguyen en route to the silver medal.
Her time of 59.24 in that race remains the national record.