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Shanti Pereira smashes national 100m record again as she wins gold in Bangkok

Singapore sprinter's 11.20sec feat at Asian Athletics Championships is fastest time recorded by Asian woman this year

Singapore's Veronica Shanti Pereira celebrates with her flag after winning in the women's 200m final during the athletics competition at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Singapore sprinter Shanti Pereira celebrates after winning in the women's 200m final at the 2023 SEA Games. (PHOTO: AP/Tatan Syuflana)

SINGAPORE — Double SEA Games sprint gold medallist Shanti Pereira continued her record-breaking year on Friday (14 July), as she smashed the national women's 100m record for the sixth time since March.

The 26-year-old clocked 11.20 seconds to win the gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, comfortably beating Iran's Farzaneh Fasihi (11.39sec) and China's Ge Manqi (11.40sec) at the Suphachalasai National Stadium.

Not only did the timing obliterate her previous 100m record of 11.26sec set at a Germany meet in May, but it was also the fastest time recorded by an Asian sprinter this year. China's 2014 Asian Games champion Wei Yongli held the previous fastest mark of 11.24sec, set in June.

The gold-medal win also ended Singapore's 16-year medal drought at the regional meet, with pole vaulter Rachel Yang's 2007 silver medal being the last medal won by an athlete from the city-state.

Pereira's superb form this year puts her in with a great chance of winning at least a medal at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.

Her exceptional streak of record-breaking runs began in March, when she began breaking the national 100m record at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships. She has since lowered the mark six times, from 11.48sec to 11.20sec.

She then smashed both the 100m and 200m national records in a single weekend in Brisbane, before heading to the SEA Games in Cambodia and winning both the 100m and 200m golds, breaking the national and SEA Games record in her 200m triumph.

This came after she decided to start training full-time in January, upon joining the Sport Excellence (Spex) Scholarship programme, which provides financial and other support for elite athletes.

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