Following a silver medal for women’s 100m at the Asian Games, Shanti Pereira made history once again.
This time, she bagged the first gold medal at the 200m race, clearly ahead of silver medalist Li Yuting from China by 0.25 seconds.
This was Singapore’s first athletics gold medal since 1974.
Congratulatory messages from senior politicians and prominent figures poured in soon after Pereira’s win.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
PM Lee called Shanti’s historic win a “brilliant victory”.
President Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Tharman explained Pereira’s gold was so “epic”.
“It’s our first in athletics at the Asian Games in almost 50 years. Chee Swee Lee gave Singapore its first and only gold in 1974, in the 400m. And our first gold ever in the sprints at the Games.
And against a much larger field of competition, especially from much larger countries, than was the case before.
Shanti shows what we can achieve. With personal guts and determination. First class coaches. Strong and patient support from our national bodies. And a population cheering for our sportspersons.”
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat
Heng, who is the anchor minister of East Coast GRC, said “Shanti, who is a East Coast resident, has shown us where sheer perseverance and determination can take us”.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong
Wong said it has been a “remarkable journey” for Pereira and “we are all so very proud of [her] achievements”.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong
Tong simply said, “She did it!!!!! Gold for Shanti!”
Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh
Singh shared he watched the race at the void deck and the Meet-the-People session halted temporarily to revel in Pereira’s victory.
Veteran diplomat Tommy Koh
Koh said, “Shanti we love you”, ending his message with a “Bravo”.