SEA Games: Dipna Lim-Prasad hurdles over setbacks to keep 400m hurdles silver, Shanti Pereira retains 100m bronze

Shanti Pereira at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships on April 28, 2017. The sprinter set a new national record at the SEA Games on Aug 22, 2017.
Shanti Pereira at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships on April 28, 2017. The sprinter set a new national record at the SEA Games on Aug 22, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR - Last week, Dipna Lim-Prasad was not even sure she would get to race at the SEA Games.

She had injured her leg during a training stint in Japan and the physiotherapist had a devastating recommendation: She should not race in Kuala Lumpur.

It did not help that she had been laid low by a virus for a month before that.

Still, she set aside the physical and mental scars from those setbacks to retain her 400m hurdles silver at the Bukit Jalil Stadium last night.

Said Lim-Prasad, whose leg injury was not as serious as initially thought: "(My) confidence coming in here was terrible... so I'm happy considering everything but objectively, it wasn't as good as I had hoped.

"I'm hoping for a personal best and a national record in the 400m on Thursday. But I'm relieved I pulled through."

The 26-year-old finished in 60.55 seconds, behind defending champion Nguyen Thi Huyen (56.06sec) of Vietnam and ahead of Thailand's Jutamas Khonkham (60.73sec).

Lim-Prasad's time was off her personal best of 59.24sec clocked at the 2015 Games but she said: "This is a season-best so that's good... I'm acknowledging and being grateful."

Team-mate Shanti Pereira came third in the 100m, clocking 11.76sec. Vietnam's Le Tu Chinh won (11.56sec) while Malaysian Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli was second (11.74sec).

Defending champion Kayla Richardson did not compete in the event as she has opted to focus on the 200m and relay events instead.

Pereira had earlier set a new national record of 11.73sec (pending ratification) in the second heat of the event, eclipsing her previous national record of 11.80sec.

She said: "I'm really happy that I managed to get a PB today in my heat and that it was not very much off in the final. I'm very happy I got the bronze again."

Turning to her 200m title defence today - she had also set the national record of 23.60 en route to winning gold at the 2015 Games - she said: "I was already excited about tomorrow but I guess this is extra motivation for me.

"I expected a medal, so yay!

"I'm really happy about that (the national record).

"I'm just going to run my best."