Shereen Vallabouy

Perak's Golden Sprinter Takes the World by Storm

by Anne Das

In a triumphant display of athletic prowess, Perak-born Shereen Vallabouy has emerged as a rising star in the world of track and field. With her recent remarkable achievements at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the breaking of national records, Shereen has brought pride and honour to her hometown and the entire nation.

At the 2023 SEA Games held in Cambodia, Shereen made history as she clinched the coveted gold medal in the women’s 400m event, ending Malaysia’s 24-year wait for success in this discipline. With an impressive time of 52.53 seconds, she outpaced her opponents from Vietnam, securing her place atop the podium and etching her name into the annals of Malaysian athletics.

This remarkable feat not only marked a personal triumph for Shereen but also carried a legacy of excellence that runs in her family. Both of her parents, Samson Vallabouy and Josephine Mary, are legendary athletes in their own right, having achieved remarkable success in national and regional competitions during the 1980s and 1990s.

Shereen, along with her mother ( Josephine Mary), father (Samson Vallabouy) and sister  (Jocelyn) who was Sukma medallist in 2016 and 2018 and further Represented Perak state at Sukan Malaysia.

Samson Vallabouy, a two-time SEA Games gold medallist in the 800m event, expressed his joy and pride in his daughter’s accomplishments, saying, “I am so proud to see my daughter win the SEA Games gold. Her success is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and the values instilled in her from a young age.”

Reflecting on her daughter’s achievement, Josephine Mary, a multiple SEA Games gold medallist and national record holder said, “Seeing Shereen win the SEA Games gold medal is a dream come true for us. It is a testament to her relentless spirit and the countless hours she has devoted to her craft. We couldn’t be prouder.”

“We are deeply grateful to Tan Sri Vincent Tan and the Better Malaysia Foundation for their invaluable support for Shereen to pursue her education at Winona States University. Additionally, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to YB Hannah Yeoh and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MSN) for their unwavering commitment to provide funding until Paris 2024.

“We feel truly blessed and humbled by God’s mercy as it has lifted a significant burden from our shoulders. Their assistance has made it possible for Shereen to pursue her dreams with renewed hope and determination.” shares Josephine Mary.

RM400,000 worth of assistance packages for Shereen to train in the USA.

In addition to her SEA Games triumph, Shereen also shattered the 30-year-old national record in the women’s 400m event earlier this year. With a blistering time of 51.80 seconds achieved during the St. Mac Relays at the Mt. San Antonio College in California, proving her mettle on the international stage.

Recognizing Shereen’s immense talent and potential, the Malaysian Sports Ministry has extended its support with a comprehensive assistance package worth RM400,000. The package includes provisions for coaching, accommodation, meals, supplements, sports massage, and competition costs. This investment aims to propel Shereen to new heights and help her achieve her aspirations of winning gold for Malaysia at prestigious international events such as the Asian Games and the Olympics.

As Shereen continues her journey towards the Hangzhou Asian Games, the World Championships in Budapest, and the Paris Olympics, let us rally behind her, offering unwavering encouragement and well wishes. May she continue to break barriers, shatter records, and make Malaysia proud.

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