Sprint Queen Shanti Pereira Has A Big Challenge Ahead Of Her, But She Is Focused..

Southeast Asia’s fastest woman Shanti Pereira is a commonly recognized name in Singapore after winning the country’s first medal in 49 years at last year’s Asian Games.

The 28-year-old track-and-field athlete — frequently alluded to as Singapore’s Sprint Queen — brought back a gold in the women’s 200-meter race and silver in the 100-meter race at the Asian Games.

Her next target presently is the Paris Olympics in July 2024, and so she is training hard in the U.S. for this big sports festival in France.

According to Pereira who spoke to CNBC, the “hardest parts” of her career was the point at which she experienced a hamstring injury in 2018 that wrecked her preparation. Thus, she was unable to advance beyond the Asian Games Heats that year.

That resulted in her losing the Sports Excellence scholarship, and within the same week, the Yip Pin Xiu scholarship — Singapore Management University’s first full sport scholarship — was taken from her hands as well when her grades dropped.

“My energy was very focused on what other people were thinking of me and comparing myself to my competitors. But I realized there was absolutely no point in that — because these people have nothing to do with my life, my journey, and my successes.”

The defining moment came in 2022. Three weeks before the Southeast Asian Games, she at last woke up from that descending twisting.

“I got really fed up and decided that I need to stop feeling sorry for myself as it wasn’t getting me anywhere.”

In spite of the fact that she won no medal at the games that year, she secured two gold medals at the 2023 SEA Games.

That very year, Pereira broke the national record in the 100-m run six times and 200-m race four times.

Despite the fact that the challenges were agonizing and took “many, numerous years to survive,” Pereira said it helped shape her into who she is today.

“You build character and resilience through such experiences. It was difficult but I wouldn’t take back anything that happened as it made me the person I am today, and the athlete I am today.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she added. “Track is a part of who I am and I just felt like I have a lot more to give to the sport.”

Pereira’s love for sports began when she was 9, after bringing back her first two medals at her school’s yearly Sports Day race in 2005.

It was only after 2015 that she became famous in regional sports circles, securing the gold medal for the 200m race at the Southeast Asian Games.

Female Athletes: This Is Why They Have A ‘Burden’

Today, she is a motivation to more youthful athletes who desire to achieve a similar success one day.

“It is pretty cool that my achievements have made such an incredible impact on many Singaporeans,” she told CNBC, highlighting it’s important for young athletes to work hard and pursue their passion.

“To anyone that looks up to me and wants to potentially do what I do right now, the best advice I can give is to work hard and create a situation for yourself where you’re able to train and recover properly.”

“This is not easy to do in Singapore since it’s very normal to juggle many different things at once,” she added. “But if you really have a passion for it and you feel like you can go somewhere with this, you have to make that sacrifice.”

As per Pereira, she has always been inspired by Jamaican Sprinter Usain Bolt — the “world’s fastest man.

“His feats are incredible. He was able to forget about all the pressure he was under and just show up and deliver during the Olympics,” she said.

“Your head has to be so strong to be able to do that, and it’s a really insane thing to do.”

For now, Pereira will be staying in the U.S. for the next two months, as she works to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

This will be her second stab at the Olympics, after participating in the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Being in the U.S. gives her the “ideal environment” to connect whatever number quality training sessions as would be prudent, she said, since the majority of the day spins around training and recovering.

“I had a lot more major competitions to prepare for last year, but I just have one this year which is the ideal situation and makes the training process different.”

“I’m ready and I’m excited and I’m going to do whatever I can, anything I can, to do my best,” she said, touching the Olympics tattoo near her right wrist.

Meanwhile, Shanti Pereira says it was a mind blowing experience when she was flanked by Sha’Carri Richardson of the U.S., and Shericka Jackson of Jamaica in the Women’s 200 meters semi-final heat three during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on August 24th, 2023.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *