SWIMMING

Hong Kong Olympic swimming hopeful Siobhan Haughey the star as she leads Michigan to US college title

Teen sensation dominates prestigious event

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 February, 2016, 10:43am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 4:29pm

Hong Kong’s teen swim sensation Siobhan Haughey, who will be competing at the Rio Olympics in the summer, was the star of the show in the Big 10 championships, one of US college sports’ major events.

The 18-year-old was named Swimmer of the Championships as she led University of Michigan to the prestigious title for the first time since 2004.

Haughey won three individual titles at the event, the 100-yard freestyle (47.71 seconds), the 200-yard freestyle (a Big 10 championship record in 1:43.51), and the 200-yard individual medley (also a record 1:54.97).

“I am very happy that Michigan finally won the Big Ten title after 12 years,” said Haughey, who has an Irish father and Chinese mother.

“The whole team worked extremely hard this year and this wouldn’t be possible if every single one of us didn’t try our very best.

“I am just so proud of being on this team.”

Haughey touched 0.01 seconds ahead of Li Zhesi of Ohio State in the 100-yard free – she competed for Team China at the Beijing Olympics aged just 13 before missing London 2012 after testing positive for EPO.

Knowing that I have the best coaches and teammates makes me even more confident about Rio
Siobhan Haughey

Michigan won with 1361 points, ahead of Indiana University and the University of Minnesota.

In August last year Haughey became the first Hong Kong swimmer to record the Olympics A qualifying time in the 200 metres individual medley.

The Big 10 is the oldest division one collegiate athletic conference in the States.

The next big event for Haughey, in her first year at university, will be the NCAA Championships from March 17-19 at Georgia Tech, where she will compete against the best college swimmers from every conference.

“I hope to keep improving my times and swim for the team [there],” added Haughey.

“I know that I’ve made the right decision by coming to Michigan and winning the Big Ten proved it once again.

“Knowing that I have the best coaches and teammates makes me even more confident about Rio.”

Haughey will not face off against four-time Olympic gold medallist Missy Franklin in the 200 free and medley at that championship though – the 20-year-old sensation led California to the NCAA title last year, but has since turned pro.

Haughey’s 200 IM time would have been fourth at last year’s NCAA finals, her 200 free fifth, and her 100 yard free seventh.