Shanti Pereira
Shanti is eyeing to defend her 200m gold medal at 2017 SEA Games Reuters

Singapore sprinter Shanti Pereira revealed she is excited about the upcoming season after she began the new year with a silver medal in Women's 100m at Allan & Sylvia Potts Classic in New Zealand, which also helped her qualify for the upcoming SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The 20-year-old clocked 11.78s in the 100m race on Saturday, a mark which is 0.02 faster than her national record of 11.80s, which was set at the 2015 Singapore Track and Field Open championships. However, it is not taken into account as new national record as the tail wind speed of 2.2m per second was more than the International Association of Athletics Association's limit.

Shanti was involved in a photo finish with eventual gold medal winner Zoe Hobbs of North Harbour Bays Athletics Club while Georgia Hulls of Hastings Athletic Club was third (11.80s), according to Today. The Singapore sprinter will also run two more races in New Zealand in the coming days (17 and 20 January) to try and match or better the SEA Games 200m qualifying mark of 23.92s.

Notably, Shanti clinched the 200m gold at the 2015 SEA Games and is also the national record-holder in the category (23.60s). The sprinter also clinched a bronze in the 100m event at the last edition of the biennial event, which was held in Singapore.

The young runner from the Lion City has undoubtedly benefitted a lot from her one-month training period in Munich, Germany last year. Shanti herself reportedly admitted that she had returned home leaner and the training stint with Bavarian state sprint team coach Volker Herrmann had helped her improve her strength, endurance and acceleration. After clinching the SEA Games spot yesterday, she credited her training stint for her early success in the year.

"I did a lot of reflecting about last year and went into the new season more confident after the training camp in Munich so I think that helped me a lot for this race and I'm really looking forward to the season ahead," Shanti said, as quoted by Today.

"It feels great to qualify for the SEA Games and I was hoping for a good timing this round especially after the training stint I just went for. I had a pretty rough year last year, so I'm really happy I managed to run this timing!"