No show, no prize – Siobhan Haughey may lose out on Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards night
The double gold medallist swimmer from the World University Games must be at the presentation ceremony to be eligible
Favourite Siobhan Haughey may be denied a chance to be among the winners at the 2017 Sports Stars Awards unless organisers are willing to give her special dispensation – because she may be unable to attend the ceremony.
The presentation will be held next year and the 20-year-old athlete, who became the first swimmer from Hong Kong to reach a World Championships final in Budapest in July, will be an overwhelming favourite to be among the candidates for one of the eight sports stars of the year awards and the top award – best of the best of the year.
But there is a rule stating that if the winner cannot attend the presentation, which will take place at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on March 27, he or she would be ruled out of the competition.
“We have made it clear the candidate can only miss the presentation if they have to compete in the Asian or world level competitions,” said awards organising committee chairman Vivien Lau Chiang-chu.
“Of course we will also consider some other reasons for example the athlete is sick and has to stay in hospital.
“We know Siobhan is studying overseas and this may be a strong case that she cannot attend the presentation. We will consider the case if she is nominated for the award.”
Each national sports association can only nominate their best athlete for the sports stars awards, but with Haughey’s excellent performance in 2017, which also includes double gold medals in the World University Games, she should jump out in the eyes of the selectors.
Other contenders will include world snooker women’s champion Ng On-yee, who clinched the title for the second time in Singapore in April while veteran cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze had a subdued year but still captured a bronze medal at the track World Championships, which was held in front of home crowds in Tseung Kwan O.
Fencer Nicholas Choi, who attended the event announcement function on Tuesday, is hoping the men’s foil team who won an Asian Championships bronze medal can take home the team award.
The foilist also won a silver medal at the National Games in Tianjin but faces tough competition from teammate Cheung Ka-long.
Cheung, ranked 11th in the world, won a silver medal at the Asian Championships in June and came third in the World Cup Series in Egypt last month.
Nominations for the awards will close on December 22 before a public vote to take place early next year.
The results, coupled with the decision of a selection panel and the media panel, will decide the winners.