Shanti Pereira breaks SEA Games 200m record, Soh Rui Yong misses out on medal in 1,500m event

Singapore sprint queen Shanti Pereira successfully defended her title and broke both the national and the games record as she took the gold in the women’s 200m event at the 32nd SEA Games with a timing of 22.69s at the Morodok Techo National Stadium on May 8. 

In the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam, Pereira won the gold medal with a time of 22.53s, which was then a national record too. This is Pereira’s third medal in the 200m sprint event as she also won a gold medal in the 2015 SEA Games. The games record was previously set by Philippines’ Kristina Knott in 2019 with a time of 23.01. That year Pereira won the bronze medal, sprinting to a time of 23.77s.

SEA Games 2023 – Women’s 200m Results

Meanwhile, Soh Rui Yong, a marathon gold medallist from the 2015 and 2017 SEA Games, was not too disappointing against the younger competitors in the 5,000m event on May 8. He managed to pace himself in the race and was among the group expected to finish on the podium.  But towards the end of the race, Kieran Tuntivate of the Philippines picked up speed and left Soh and the rest of the pack behind to win the gold medal with a time of 14:34.77s. This is Tuntivate’s second medal of the 5,000m event as he won gold in the 2019 SEA Games – 14:31.15. Soh ended the race in fourth place with a time of 14:48.43, while the other Singapore competitor in this event, Jeevanesh, finished in 15th position 15:51.63.

Singapore won two bronze medals in the track and field competition courtesy of Goh Chui Ling in the women’s 1,500 race and Michelle Sng in the high jump competition.

This is Goh’s second bronze medal in the race. She had also won bronze in the previous SEA Games. Defending champion Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Oanh was unmatched by the rest of the competitors as she left them miles ahead to win the gold (04:16.85), while compatriot Bui Thị Ngan took the silver medal (04:24.57). Goh came third with a time of 04:26.33. For Sng, she is back at the podium after her historic gold medal performance at the 2017 SEA Games. Sng jumped a season’s best of 1.73m to clinch the bronze medal.

Photo credit: SNOC (Eng Chin An) and Singapore Athletics

Singapore won one gold, three silvers and seven bronze medals at the last SEA Games. In addition, five national records and eight personal best timings were recorded in Vietnam. When Singapore hosted the SEA Games in 2015, Singapore won three golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in athletics. The three gold medals came from Soh in the marathon, Shanti in the 200m sprint, and Zhang Guirong in shot put.

This year, Singapore Athletics are sending a total of 31 track and field athletes to Cambodia and the association’s president Lien Choon Luen hopes that the nation will be able to give their moral support to the athletes as they pursue glory at the SEA Games.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the coaches, trainers, and support staff who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help our athletes achieve their goals. Their efforts are invaluable and have contributed greatly to the success of our athletes. We are confident that our athletes will continue to make Singapore proud in the SEA Games 2023, and we wish them all the best in their upcoming competitions. We encourage all Singaporeans to rally behind our team and show their support by cheering them on as they compete on the regional stage. Together, let us celebrate the hard work and achievements of our athletes and inspire the next generation of young Singaporeans to pursue their dreams,” said Lien, Singapore Athletics president.

Photo credit: Singapore Athletics

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