Shanti & co in fine form

Shanti & co in fine form
Shanti Pereira won the 200m in 24seconds on the final day of athletics' Singapore Open, a hundredth of a second off her own mark on April 5, 2015.

More national records - three - fell at this year's Singapore Open Track and Field Championships than in recent editions of the annual meet, which augurs well for the nation's medal hopes at the upcoming SEA Games.

Sprinter Shanti Pereira came within a whisker of a hat-trick of records yesterday, when she was just 0.01sec off her own national mark in the 200m event.

Taking a commanding lead from the bend, the 18-year-old clocked a season's best of 24.00sec to win her pet event.

She finished more than half a second ahead of Indonesia's Tri Setyo Utami (24.59), who had clinched the 100m gold just the day before. Lusiana Satriani from Indonesia was third (25.09).

Shanti had already re-written the 100m mark (11.80) and played a part in the 4x100m record (46.64) on Saturday.

She said: "I've been struggling ever since the start of the year, trying to get good timings consistently but it just wasn't happening.

"The whole goal for me at this competition was just to use the competitors to my advantage, and do my best.

"This has shown that I'm in top form, and it has really allowed me to look forward to the upcoming SEA Games. Hopefully, I'll do better there."

The other new national record over the two-day meet held at the National Stadium was a 14.44sec effort by Ang Chen Xiang in the men's 110m hurdles.

Said Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei: "Everything is going positively so far. These records were not achieved overnight but from a long period of processes put into place."

But he noted that South-east Asian athletics bigwigs Thailand did not field their best this time.

The association thus intends to send some athletes to the Taiwan Open this week, to pit themselves against the Thais who are expected to compete there.

Making special note of Shanti's outstanding performance, Tang said: "That is no fluke. (But) she's been exposed to a lot of high-level meets so this is expected of her.

"But beyond the athletes, I'm also looking at the preparation because this is a test run ahead of the SEA Games.

"I was quite impressed with the crowds and I hope they will continue to pour in during the Games itself."

This article was first published on April 6, 2015.
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