Our Shanti makes everyone proud
In the end she won easily, much to the shock of so many of her own.
And in a Games for the ages, for Singapore, she pulled off one of the most stirring feats, to become our Shanti.
He is forever our Fandi and she our Jos', now he is our Joe, perhaps one of our young footballers will want to get in on the act starting tonight, but Veronica Shanti Pereira (right) gained membership into the exclusive Singapore sports club after sprinting 23.60sec at the National Stadium yesterday to win the 200m gold.
It has taken 42 years for Singapore to once again show off a SEA Games sprint gold medallist and the beaming smile the 18-year-old flashed moments after her momentous triumph said it all.
She was so happy. She didn't know whether to jump up and down, run crazily around, or laugh and cry.
But gosh that smile said it all.
Shanti loves her sport.
I remember how she was all wide-eyed with excitement on an early December morning two years ago as she waited to meet world and Olympic sprint champion Allyson Felix.
The Singaporean teenager couldn't get enough of Felix and hung on to the American's every word.
She is a sports nut.
Whose face and name will forever be in the Singapore Sports School's Hall of Fame after bagging the 100m bronze and the 200m gold within 24 hours.
Still only a teenager, our sports administrators will have to come up with a game plan to, perhaps, offer her the kind of training programme our swimming superstar Joseph Schooling is enjoying, to give Shanti every chance of realising her potential.
I'm sure sports minister Lawrence Wong would have been thinking that, moments after she crossed the line in such stunning fashion.
She actually made him wait a couple of seconds during the victory ceremony to wave the Singapore flag and a beaming Wong would not have minded one bit.
Like all of us, he would have been proud of her.
She hinted at what was to come after the morning heats. The doubters felt the Philippines' Kayla Richardson, the 100m champion who finished the heats ahead of the Singaporean, had more in the tank. Hours later, Shanti said this time, she would be queen.
This is what it feels like to witness one of our own reign supreme in a track sprint event at a Games.
Even Allyson Felix would have been proud of our Shanti.