Shanti Pereira won the Asian Games silver medal for the women’s 100m on Saturday, Sep. 30, putting an end to Singapore’s 49-year wait for a track and field medal.
The 27-year-old clocked 11.27 seconds at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.This is Pereira’s first Asian Games finals in the 100m, after she did not advance out of the heats in 2018.
The last Singaporean to win an athletics gold was Chee Swee Lee, who competed in the women's 400m in 1974 in Teheran, Iran.
That year, Singapore won a gold, a silver and two bronzes, The Straits Times reported.
Singapore’s last Asiad medal in track and field was from that year, according to CNA.
Gold medallist 0.04 seconds faster
Pereira's personal best time is 11.20sec.
The gold medal went to China's Ge Manqi, who won with a time of 11.23sec.
The Chinese pulled ahead at the last stretch to take the gold after being neck and neck with Pereira throughout.
Bahraini Hajar Saad Saeed Saad Alkhadi took bronze with a time of 11.35sec.
The personal best times of four competitors whom Pereira were up against were formidable: China’s Wei Yongli (10.99sec) and Ge (11.04sec), as well as Bahrain’s Ofonime Odiong (11.05sec) and Saeed Alkhaldi (11.17sec), all ran faster than the Singaporean at their best, according to CNA.
Pereira qualified for the finals by virtue of clocking the fastest time outside of the six automatic qualifiers, having missed out on the two automatic qualifying spots in her heat, CNA added
The Singaporean sprinter went into this competition as the runner to watch.
She had clocked the fastest time of any Asian woman in the 100m in 2023 with her 11.20sec finish.
This was only beaten by Ge in the heats on Friday, Sep. 29, with a 11.17sec time.
Pereira’s next event is the women’s 200m, just 12 hours after the 100m final, as the heats are taking place on Sunday morning.
Top photo via Team Singapore Facebook