Asian Games 2018: Hong Kong swimmers can claim bronze in relay, says swim chief; no official medal target in Indonesia
David Chiu says the women’s relay team will need to be at their best in Jakarta to overcome the South Korean team, their rivals for bronze
Hong Kong’s women relay swimmers will aim for a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia in spite of star swimmer Siobhan Haughey’s absence, according to a senior Hong Kong swimming official.
Haughey, the Hong Kong record holder in the 50 metre, 100m and 200m freestyle events, will miss the Asiad as she recovers from a long-term foot injury. However, David Chiu, the honorary secretary of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association, insists that third place is still a realistic target for the Hong Kong team.
“The Chinese team and the Japanese team are a bit ahead of us,” Chiu said. “The remaining four relay swimmers – including the one who is selected to pick up Siobhan’s place – need to do their very best,” he added.
“Siobhan is faster by two seconds, so everybody needs to contribute and chip in to try to close this gap in order to beat the [South] Koreans. The Koreans are our realistic target for the bronze medal.”
The three other members of the national record-holding women’s relay team, Camille Cheng Lily-mei, Stephanie Au Hoi-shun and Sze Hang-yu will all compete in the August 18-September 2 Games.
Haughey, who was named swimmer of the championships at the illustrious Big 10 championships on the United States college circuit in 2016, won her heat in the 200m individual medley at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and a year later finished fifth in the final of the 200m freestyle at the Aquatic World Championships, a high watermark for Hong Kong swimming.
Hong Kong’s swimmers have been training in Shanghai and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in the lead up the Asian games later this month.
Chiu refused to disclose a specific target for Hong Kong’s swimmers at the Games.
“I don’t like to set a target for the swimming team at all because all I want from our swimmers is: ‘Do your best. If you perform and achieve a PB [personal best], let’s see where your PB leaves us.’”