SINGAPORE: Seven months after she rewrote her own 100m national record, Shanti Pereira did it again at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Wellington on Friday (Mar 3).
Remarkably, Pereira managed the feat this time around without having raced in a competitive meet since the 2022 Commonwealth Games in August.
The 26-year-old clocked a time of 11.46s in her heats, eclipsing her previous national record by 0.02s.
Speaking to CNA, Pereira described the achievement as a “very pleasant surprise”.
“This morning I felt good and just wanted to execute my race plan as best as I could, because this is my first race (of the year) so I’m a bit rusty in terms of racing because it has been so long,” she said.
“I wanted to go out strong and just focus on the technical aspects of it.”
Shanti would go on to clock 11.44s in the final, but it was not registered as a national mark due to a tailwind of 3.4m/s. Only results from races with a tailwind of less than 2.0m/s are considered legal for record purposes.
New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs finished first with a time of 10.89s, and compatriot Rose Elliott took second (11.36s).
Last November, it was announced that Pereira would be joining the Sports Excellence Scholarship programme, which supports athletes headed to major Games. She has been training full-time since January.
“I just really enjoy what it is I’m doing, I’m glad I have the opportunity to train full-time – that is what I have been wanting for a really long time,” she said.
“After the race, my coach (Luis Cunha) and I agreed that this is not the fastest I’m going to be this year, next year or whatever it is. We’re working towards better timings in both the 100m and 200m.”