Star swimmer Siobhan Haughey will be looking for Hong Kong’s first ever Asian Games swimming gold medal in Hangzhou this September after missing the last Games four years ago. An ankle injury forced Haughey to pull out two months before the 2018 Games in Jakarta, but the double Olympic silver medallist will be included in a strong Hong Kong squad of 30-plus swimmers for Hangzhou 2022. The Hong Kong Swimming Association chose its squad this week after the Long Course Time Trial last weekend and will submit it to the Olympic Committee for approval. “We prefer not to say anything about the squad at this stage, because it has yet to be ratified by the national Olympic Committee,” said David Chiu Chin-hung, chairman of the selection committee. “But there are certain selection criteria laid down by the Olympic Committee and if a swimmer meets those, they will go to Hangzhou.” One criterion securing automatic selection is participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Haughey earned silver medals in the 100 metre and 200 metre freestyle, both with Asian record times. “Haughey has been in tremendous form since the Tokyo Olympics and of course has fulfilled the requirements,” Chiu said. In red-hot form, Haughey will challenge for a gold medal – which would be Hong Kong’s first in swimming since the sport’s maiden appearance at the Asiad, in Manila in 1954. Hong Kong’s previous best was a silver in the women’s 4x100 metre medley relay in 2018, after the China team, who were among the favourites, were disqualified in the final. Haughey made her Asiad debut as a 17-year-old, at the 2014 Games in Incheon, helping Hong Kong to clinch three bronze medals, all in relays. Hong Kong swimmer Ian Ho beats Olympic king Dressel in Pro Swim Series But at 24, she will arrive in Hangzhou a different swimmer, much matured and brimming with the confidence gained from her outstanding performances in Tokyo last year. Since then, she has been named the best female swimmer at the short-course World Championships in December, where she broke the world record in the 200 metres freestyle and collected two gold medals and a bronze. Before the Asiad comes around, she will also lead Hong Kong’s team in the long-course World Championships in Budapest in June. She had narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2019 iteration of those championships, in South Korea, when she finished fourth in the 200 metres freestyle. Ian Ho Yentou will also be challenging for a medal in Hangzhou, in the sprint events. The 24-year-old Virginia Tech student set a Hong Kong record of 21.97 seconds in the 50 metres freestyle last year to become the first male swimmer to secure a place at the Olympics with an A qualifying standard time. Hong Kong last won an individual men’s swimming medal when Mark Kwok Kin-ming came third in the 400 metres freestyle at the 1998 Bangkok Games. The city also collected a bronze at the 2014 Incheon Games, in the men’s 4x100 metre freestyle relay, after hosts South Korea, who had finished four seconds ahead of Hong Kong, were disqualified in the final.