Veronica Shanti Pereira with Tan Zong Yang

Veronica Shanti Pereira with Tan Zong Yang in Sweden. Photo courtesy: Instagram/v_shantipereira

Going down on his knee in a classic proposal, former national-level athlete Tan Zong Yang of Singapore got a ‘yes’ from his long-time girlfriend, the Indian-origin Singaporean sprint queen Veronica Shanti Pereira. She announced the engagement with a series of Instagram photos.

“Cheers to your 30th, 3 years together, and to the rest of our lives!!!!!!!! @tanzeeey,” wrote Shanti Pereira, with a three-picture album that showed the couple in a European setting. They were in front of the Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, reported The Straits Times.

According to reports, though the photos were made public only yesterday, the engagement had taken place on June 9, two days before Tan’s June 11 birthday.

ST reported that Tan had travelled with Pereira last year to very important athletic meets like the Hangzhou Asian Games and Asian Athletics Championships in 2023.

Tan Zong Yang proposes to Shanti Pereira
Tan Zong Yang proposes to Shanti Pereira, with the Drottningholm Palace as the romantic backdrop. Photo courtesy: Instagram/v_shantipereira
Shanti Pereira and Tan Zong Yang after she accepts his proposal
Shanti Pereira and Tan Zong Yang after she accepts his proposal. Photo courtesy: Instagram/v_shantipereira

The past year has been a great one for Pereira, with two big wins to fortify her champion reputation.

In October 2023, she gave Singapore its first Asian Games track & field gold medal since 1974, winning the 200m race in Hangzhou, China, just a couple of days after taking silver in the 100m dash.

In May 2023, she became the first Singaporean woman to win both the 100m and 200m races — a sprint double — at the biennial Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), held in Cambodia.

Awarded the title of ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ at the Singapore Sports Awards on June 3, she now looks forward to the Paris Olympic Games 2024, starting in July.

Tan Zong Yang made history, too, when he won the 400m bronze at the SEA Games in May 2022, held in Vietnam (deferred by a year because of the pandemic). This men’s event medal was a first in 47 years for Singapore.