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Siobhan Haughey

Sister act: Siobhan Haughey can’t wait to join her sibling Aisling at the World University Games

World championship finalist will rejoin her sister in competition for the first time in six years as they fly the flag for Hong Kong in Taipei

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 8:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 August, 2017, 10:45am

Hong Kong star swimmer Siobhan Haughey has more incentive when she returns to the pool in next week’s World University Games in Taipei: She’s swimming with her elder sister, Aisling, for the first time in years.

Returning from the United States after an extremely successful campaign at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest where she made history by reaching the final of the women’s 200m freestyle, the younger Haughey can’t wait to rejoin her sister in competition.

“I look forward to joining my elder sister at the Games. The last time we swam together was many years ago when I was probably 13,” said 19-years-old Haughey, who returned from the United States on Thursday after her history-making feats in Budapest a fortnight ago.

“We haven’t seen each other for a year as we study in different countries so I am really excited to be swimming together with her again.”

Aisling studies in Trinity College in Dublin, while Siobhan is a psychology undergraduate at Michigan University where she was named Swimmer of the 2016 Big 10 Championships after helping them to the team title, the first time they had done so since 2004.

The Haughey sisters are part of an eight-member relay team rostered for Hong Kong in Taipei but Haughey is uncertain who will be picked for the team although she’s almost certain to be included based on her recent performances in Budapest. Siobhan will also take part in the 100 and 200 metres freestyle – now her two pet events.

Siobhan Haughey became the first Hong Kong swimmer to reach the world championships final when she broke her own Hong Kong record three times in the 200 metre freestyle on her way to fifth overall place.

She clocked one minutes and 55.96 seconds in the final.

She also shattered her own Hong Kong record in the 100 metres freestyle with a time of 53.99 seconds in the first leg of the women’s 4x100 metre freestyle relay.

Despite her remarkable achievements in Budapest, Haughey preferred not to set any targets in Taipei even though she will be favourite to collect medals for Hong Kong if she reaches anywhere near her world-class times at the world championships.

“The world championships was my target this summer. I am now looking forward to having fun at the World University Games where many of my Michigan colleagues will also be competing and representing the United States,” she said.

However, Haughey believes she has the form to do well again despite only a short break between competitions.

“I am used to swimming in two swimming meets close to each other in the US and I’m pretty sure I can handle it,” she said. “I have put in a lot of hard work at the Michigan University over the last two years, probably doubling the effort I spent in Hong Kong and that’s why I’ve been able to make great improvements.”

Hannah Wilson, also a swimmer, set the best-ever result for Hong Kong at the World University Games winning two gold medals in the women’ s 100 metre freestyle and 100 metre butterfly at the 2009 Games in Belgrade.