Well rested and determined, Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey aims for second gold medal at World University Games
Swimming sensation is aiming to strike gold again, this time in the 200 metres freestyle after skipping the 4x200 metres relay to conserve energy
There is a saying that the early bird catches the worm to gain an advantage over the opposition and Hong Kong’s world-class swimmer Siobhan Haughey wasted no time in her preparation to try to secure a second gold medal at the World University Games in Taiwan.
In the countdown to the women’s 200 metres freestyle final on Friday, the newly crowned 100 metres freestyle champion went for an early recovery session, less than 12 hours after her victory to claim the first gold medal for Hong Kong in Taipei.
The University of Michigan psychology student’s sights are firmly set on a second gold medal as Haughey skipped the 4x200 metres freestyle relay on Wednesday in an attempt to conserve energy for the individual event of heats and semis on Thursday.
As usual, the 19-year-old starlet played down her chances of equalling Hong Kong’s record at a student world games.
“I won’t be thinking about winning another medal in the 200 metres freestyle,” she said. “I just want to focus on my own race, have fun and see what I can do.”
Another swimmer, Hannah Wilson captured two gold medals for Hong Kong when she won the women’s 100 metres freestyle and 100 metres butterfly at the 2009 Games in Belgrade.
Haughey always insists it is not her intention to set out to break the medal record.
But she has a pretty good chance after her impressive showing at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last month.
She became the first swimmer from Hong Kong to reach a world championships final after finishing fifth in the 200 metres freestyle.
She said her immediate target was to reach Friday’s final of the 200 metres freestyle at the student Games.
Haughey is unlikely to go all out in Thursday’s heats and semis, preferring to hold something back for the final. She watched the 200 metres freestyle relay to help figure out a strategy for the individual event and to gather more information on her potential challengers.
On Wednesday, Haughey was still excited about her 100 metres freestyle win. “I was hoping to go under 54 but 54.1 is still a good time as I walked away with a gold,” she said.
“During the final, I was just focusing on my own race and didn’t really care a lot about other competitors, but it was so nice to have both my Hong Kong and Michigan teammates cheering for me in the stands.”
She said before her departure to Taiwan that she could not miss out on the opportunity to represent both Hong Kong and her university at the Games.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Kenneth To King-him failed to make the final of the men’s 100 metres freestyle final.
In the semi-finals on Wednesday, he recorded a time of 49.53 seconds, which was slower than his heat in the morning when he improved his own Hong Kong record to 49.39.
Chan Kin-lok finished 15th overall in the women’s 100 metres butterfly with a time of 1:00.59 and failed to make the final.