SINGAPORE: Shanti Pereira gave her significant other, fellow athlete Tan Zong Yang, a low-key shoutout in an interview published in The Straits Times on Sunday (July 9).
The context was Pereira’s diet, which she’s been more judicious over the past couple of years. The runner has avoided fast food and dishes like Hokkien mee and char kway teow. But when she comes home from a long trip, she goes to Toast Box for curry chicken with rice, which she told ST’s Sumiko Tan is her “go-to meal.”
And then there’s also the cai fan from a Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre stall near Tan’s home, where they just had the cai fan the day before, she said. Tan and Pereira have graced each other’s Instagram posts for some time now. They began dating in 2021 after having been friends for four years.
Pereira, 27, has had a banner year so far, smashing her own records left and right beginning in March and becoming the first Singaporean to top World Athletics‘ women’s 100m outdoor rankings in Asia before winning both the 100m and 200m races at the SEA Games in Cambodia.
As for Tan, 28, a lawyer by profession, he took home the bronze at the men’s 400m at the SEA Games in Hanoi in May 2022, the first time a Singaporean won a medal in the event in 47 years.
Before marking this milestone for himself and Singapore, he took five months of leave from Niru & Co LLC, where he is an associate, without pay.
Tan and Pereira train under Portuguese coach Luis Cunha, 58, a former sprinter.
On their relationship, Pereira has gone on the record as saying last year, “We both devote everything to training and competitions, even though we’re working adults now. We just try to understand what we are each going through, whether it’s having a bad day at work or during training. We just want to be there for each other because we both know what it feels like.” /TISG