Teen swimming star bags first medal for Hong Kong at Youth Olympics

World junior champion Siobhan Haughey picks up silver in 200m individual medley at Nanjing

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2014, 10:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 3:09pm

Siobhan Haughey struck silver in the pool on Sunday night to secure Hong Kong's first medal of the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

The 16-year-old swimming prodigy clocked two minutes 13.21 seconds to finish second in the 200m individual medley behind Nguyen Thi Anh Vien of Vietnam.

"I was without my glasses. I couldn't see the screen clearly and it took me a while to find that my little HK red flag ranked second," said Siobhan. "I am really delighted as this is also the first medal for the Hong Kong team."

My target was to have a personal best time. I realised that goal but did not expect a medal
Siobhan Haughey

"My target was to have a personal best time. I realised that goal but did not expect a medal."

The teen star was second after finishing the butterfly leg and dropped to fifth with the backstroke. But she managed to catch up and powered through for second place.

She won a silver medal in the same event at the East Asian Games in Tianjin last year.

Her big achievement came at the world junior swimming championships in Dubai last August when she won gold in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle. She will compete in those events, as well as the 200m freestyle in Nanjing.

"I won't set medals as my target. All I want to do is to reach the finals and have a personal best time in every event," she said.

Earlier, paddler Doo Hoi-kem found her decision to skip the opening ceremony paid off as she stayed on course for a table tennis medal by winning her first two girls' singles matches.

While most of the Hong Kong delegation were enjoying the opening ceremony at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on Saturday night, Doo, the top seed and favourite in the event, stayed at the Youth Olympic Village with coach Zhang Rui to train and analyse videos of opponents' previous games.

"I didn't attend the welcoming ceremony at the village on Friday either," said Doo. "I felt breathless when I arrived in Nanjing, and just wasn't in the mood to enjoy the atmosphere. I will join the cultural activities later, but right now I need to stay focused until the last match."

Another win on Monday morning would see Doo reach tonight's round of 16.

Meanwhile, Australian triathlete Brittany Dutton won the first gold of the Games. The 16-year-old rode a brilliant bike leg to force American Stephanie Jenks into second place on her 17th birthday. Hong Kong's Chelsea Hung Cheuk-yi finished 30th.