Hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad smashed her own national record of 60.36 seconds on Tuesday (17 December) to clinch a much deserved SEA Games Bronze medal in the Women's 400m Hurdles at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
Breaking a Barrier
The 22-year-old, who competed in the 100m Hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, clocked 59.96 seconds to become the first Singaporean woman to break the 60-second barrier. Thailand's Wassana Winatho (58.55) and Vietnam's Quach Thi Lan (58.93) took the Gold and Silver respectively. Panting and clearly tired after a lung-bursting effort, Lim-Prasad said, "I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but well enough. I was shuffling a lot and that slowed me down. But it feels really good to have gone under 60 secs."
Carrying on the Honour
The Nanyang Technological University undergraduate had earlier earned the honour of being Singapore's flag bearer during the SEA Games' Opening Ceremony, and she was glad to have done her country proud. "Coming into this competition, there was a lot of pressure to do well," she said.
Other Milestones in Athletics
Earlier in the day, sprinter Muhammad Amirudin also achieved a personal milestone by winning his first individual Games medal. Amirudin earned a Bronze in the Men's 100m event after a close finish, clocking 10.55 seconds - behind Thailand's Jirapong Meenapra (10.48) and Indonesia's Iswandi (10.51). Still, the 25-year-old was left to rue another near miss, especially after being part of the 4x100 Men's Relay team that came close to winning the Gold on Monday (16 December). Revealing his desire to match teammate Gary Yeo's Silver at the 2011 Games, he said, "While I'm happy to have won my first individual medal, I'm disappointed to have lost out by one position with both races."
Another athlete who could reflect on a job well done was Games debutant Shanti Pereira. The 17-year-old, a recent graduate of the Singapore Sports School, clocked 11.99 seconds to finish an impressive fourth in the Women's 100m sprint, just missing the Bronze which went to Thailand's Tassaporn Wannakit (11.91).
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