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Shanti fever: Pritam Singh momentarily halts MPS for Sprint Queen's historic win – Singapore News

“Well done Shanti – 200m sprint champion! MPS was temporarily halted to revel in your victory!! #teamsingapore,” he wrote shortly after her historic win

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SINGAPORE: Veronica Shanti Pereira cemented her already solid place in history, winning the women’s 200m final at the Asian Games at Hangzhou on Monday (Oct 2) after bagging the silver in the 100m a mere 48 hours before. And the country rejoiced, celebrating Singapore’s first gold medal in athletics in almost half a century. It was way back in 1974 when Chee Swee Lee won the women’s 400m.

Everyone, it seemed, held their breath to watch the 200m on Monday night, including Workers’ Party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, who paused his Meet the People Session for the race. “Well done Shanti – 200m sprint champion! MPS was temporarily halted to revel in your victory!! #teamsingapore,” he wrote shortly after her historic win.

Mr Singh posted a photo of his laptop showing the event, with Shanti at the lead, against a backdrop of MPS paraphernalia.

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Indeed, Shanti’s win was so monumental that the highest leaders in the land marked it with posts on social media.

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote, “Congratulations to Shanti Pereira for winning gold in the women’s 200m at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022! Her brilliant victory is Singapore’s first athletics gold medal at the Asian Games since 1974. This is also Shanti’s second medal after winning silver in the 100m race earlier.”

He added that her gold marked Singapore’s third in the games so far, after world champion kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder and sailor Ryan Lo.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s newly-minted President, sounded joyful in his post commemorating Shanti’s win, writing exultantly, “She did it.”

He listed why Shanti’s gold for the 200m is “epic,” including that it is “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.

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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.”

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Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Edwin Tong shared a lovely and heartwarming video of the young runner after her win with her parents, Clarence and Jeet Pereira, and her fellow runner boyfriend, Tan Zong Yang. The pair began dating in 2021 after having been friends for four years.

“Her mom and dad, Clarence and Jeet, have been a tremendous pillar of support for her and instrumental in her success (her dad was in his lucky hat!).

I thank them for all they have done and am so glad they were here to share the joy with her,” wrote Mr Tong. /TISG

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