Team Singapore

Shanti breaks two national records in one day

She was in good spirits, and she has good reasons to feel so.

Shanti Pereira clocked 11.80 seconds to finish second in the women's 100-metre final at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium yesterday, shaving 0.09 off her own previous national record.   

Indonesia's Tri Setyo Utami (11.76s) won the gold and countrywoman Serafi Anelis Unani (12.02) the bronze.

Flashing a broad grin, the 18-year-old Shanti said: "I did it! Going under 12 seconds is something I really wanted to do again. 

"It's a really good start to the real preparation for the South-east Asia (SEA) Games." 

She was also grinning after leading the 4x100m relay team to another national record. 

The quartet of Shanti, Wendy Enn, Eugenia Tan and Smriti Menon clocked 46.64 to shave 0.04 off the old time, finishing behind Indonesia's winning time of 45.98.

"We're happy to have done it here at the National Stadium, it's the right time and right place to make a statement," said Shanti. 

Added Enn: "The three of us have been training together since 2011, but (Smriti) just joined us, and this is the first time we are running together. I guess we're all getting into the right form." 

Shanti, however, is not the first athlete to set a new national record at the stadium - the crown jewel of the $1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub.

That honour belongs to hurdler Ang Chen Xiang. The 110m hurdles had three false starts, but he kept his nerve to finish third with a time of 14.44, behind Malaysia's Mat Hassan (14.22) and Patrick Unso (14.41) of the Philippines. 

Despite breaking two records in one day, Shanti is keeping her feet firmly on the ground. 

"It really helped that athletes from other countries are here," said Shanti, looking forward to the SEA Games. 

"They have clocked times that are either the same as mine, or faster, and that helped to push me."

Shanti is confident of a good showing in June. 

"It won't just be the Indonesians and Filipinas (during the SEA Games), the Thais and everyone will also come, but I'm really just looking to go as fast as possible - and maybe win a medal," she said.

The Singapore Athletics' head coach for sprints and hurdles, Portuguese Luis Cunha, was pleased with what he saw yesterday. 

"There are season bests, and personal best performances," he said.

"I know for sure they are satisfied, and I'm happy."