Shanti Pereira's stellar year continues with national 200m record at World Championships

Singapore sprinter breaks national mark in heats, as she becomes 1st Singaporean to reach a World Championships semi-final

Singapore's Shanti Pereira (left) races in the women's 200m semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships Budapest.
Singapore's Shanti Pereira (left) races in the women's 200m semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships Budapest. (PHOTO: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Shanti Pereira's World Athletics Championships outing may have come to an end on Thursday (24 August), but her extraordinary season showed no signs of letting up, after she came away from Budapest with another national record.

The 26-year-old, who had already smashed the women's 100m national record six times and the 200m mark three times this year, broke the 200m standard for the fourth time in 2022 during her heats on Wednesday.

She clocked 22.57 seconds to shave a staggering 0.12sec off her previous mark of 22.69sec set en route to winning gold at the SEA Games in May.

Not only did Pereira's timing qualify her for the semi-finals as she finished second behind Jamaica’s defending champion Shericka Jackson (22.51sec) in the heats, but it also matches the event’s entry mark of 22.57sec for the 2024 Paris Olympics. She is also the first Singaporean to have reach the semi-finals of an event at the world meet.

On Thursday, Pereira clocked 22.79sec to finish sixth in her semi-final race and was unable to advance to the final. She will next race at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, where she will be one of the favourites to clinch the gold medals in both the 100m and 200m.

Stellar year of achievements

Pereira had qualified for the World Championships on merit through her world rankings in the 100m and 200m, becoming the first Singaporean to do so since 2011, when Singapore Athletics began tracking such data.

She did not qualify for the women's 100m semi-finals at the World Championships, clocking 11.33sec on Sunday and unable to finish among the top three in her heats to advance.

Nonetheless, her feat in Budapest was the culmination of a stellar year, in which she won 100m and 200m double golds at both the SEA Games and the Asian Athletics Championships in July.

Pereira's exceptional year began in March, when she began breaking the national 100m record at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships.

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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