Siobhan Haughey

Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey moves ominously closer to second gold at World University Games

Teenager lines herself up for a second gold at the competition as she clocks the fastest qualifying time in her semi-final

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 9:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 10:14am

Even though she was coasting, Hong Kong star swimmer Siobhan Haughey still proved too good for her rivals as she moved a step closer to achieving a winning double at the World University Games.

The 19-year-old registered the fastest time, as expected, to reach the women’s 200 metres freestyle final.

Haughey will compete in her pet event and should prove too good if her history-making performance at last month’s world championships, where she finished fifth in the same event, is anything to go by.

The teenager was first to touch the pads in her race, clocking one minute and 58.71 seconds – almost two seconds faster than her time in the morning heats.

Haughey made good on her promise that she would swim faster after the heats in order to advance to the final and she did not disappoint as she swam another brilliant race.

However, her time was still outside the Hong Kong record of 1:55.96 she set at the world championships, although the Hong Kong star will still have plenty in the tank as she vies for her – and Hong Kong’s – second gold medals at the Games.

The University of Michigan psychology student said she would approached the race with calm even though she was still excited that she had captured Hong Kong’s first gold in the 100 metre freestyle on Tuesday.

She would need to fully recharge her batteries for the the final on Friday evening with a fierce challenge from Anastasia Guzhenkova of Russia, who just came behind her in the semi-final in 1:58.87 and Brazilian Manuella Duarte, winner of another semi-final in 1:59.08, posing her biggest threats.

Hong Kong first won gold at the World University Games in 2009 when Hannah Wilson, also a swimmer, captured two golds in Belgrade in the women’s 100 metre freestyle and 100 metre butterfly. Haughey, however, said she never thought of winning gold and wanted to enjoy the event in Taiwan as it was an opportunity for her to represent both Hong Kong and her university.