Shanti makes sprint history

Shanti Pereira made history on Wednesday at the IAAF World Youth Athletics Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, when she became the first Singapore woman to go under 12 seconds in the 100m.

Off a tremendous start, the teenager, who turns 17 next month, stormed home to finish second in Heat 8 with a time of 11.89sec, smashing Amanda Choo's national record of 12.01 set in October 2010 at the Thailand Open in Bangkok.

Shanti, a Republic Polytechnic-Singapore Sports School Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management student-athlete, beat her personal best of 12.05 and finished 11th out of 61 sprinters to move into tonight's semi-finals.

She was ecstatic when she spoke to The New Paper over the phone on Wednesday night.

"It's just surreal, I can't believe I did it," she said.

"I felt good during the warm-up, and I guess I didn't expect too much of myself and ran with an empty mind... I'm just so happy!

"I don't know if I can go faster. But everybody is so crazy fast here, so maybe in the semi-finals they'll push me to go even quicker."

Earlier, Team Singapore got off to a disappointing start, with only Zubin Muncherji managing to put up a creditable showing, matching his personal best in the 400 metres.

The 16-year-old's time of 48.76 saw him finish seventh in his heat.

Another 16-year-old, Jannah Wong, clocked 15.10 in the girls' 100m hurdles to finish sixth in her heat.

The time was well below her personal best of 14.47, which was set at the South-east Asia (SEA) Youth Athletics Championships in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, last month.

Hurdlers Raymond Lee and Calvin Quek were also disappointing in the boys' 400m hurdles event.

Raymond clocked 56.16 to finish sixth in his heat, but the time was well below his personal best of 53.58. Calvin, meanwhile, clocked 1:02.84, finishing last in his heat.