Winning the 400m race at the Thailand Open was "bittersweet" for Dipna Lim-Prasad. But the national runner eventually deemed her experience more sweet than bitter, helped partly by having a long-awaited cup of Thai iced tea.
She clocked a personal-best 55.10 seconds at the Thammasat University Sport Complex yesterday.
Her effort was also just shy of Chee Swee Lee's 43-year national record of 55.08sec, which was set at the 1974 Asian Games in Iran.
Still, Lim-Prasad, whose previous personal best of 55.45sec was set in Australia in March, was happy with her result despite being "a bit disappointed" at missing out on the national mark.
"Logically, I know (chasing records) is not a smart way to tackle anything - we should just focus on the process and that's when the results will come," the 26-year-old told The Straits Times.
"But every so often you get caught up in the chase.
"My coach told me to just take it as a victory and keep working at it, and I have to keep being grateful and celebrating the small victories. So I celebrated by having Thai iced tea, which I waited very long to drink."
Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Hang (55.31sec) was second and Thailand's Supanich Poolkerd (55.82sec) finished third.
Lim-Prasad's time did not meet the SEA Games qualifying mark of 54.26sec, but she is set to feature in Kuala Lumpur in the 400m hurdles.
Her aim at the Aug 19-30 event is to at least retain the silver medal in her pet event.
She believes her feat in Thailand is a sign that she is on the right track. She was fourth heading into the last 100m before storming to victory.
"Fitness-wise, I'm definitely there," she added.
"For me to catch all my competitors in the last 100m shows my speed is quite solid and I can push at the end, and that's very important for the 400m hurdles."