An injury caused by a poolside slip has forced Siobhan Haughey to pull out of the Mare Nostrum Tour on the eve of its first leg in Monaco on Saturday. Hong Kong’s double Olympic silver medallist announced her withdrawal in an Instagram story in the early hours of Saturday (Hong Kong time). “Unfortunately, I injured my ankle and will be sitting out the Mare Nostrum series,” the 24-year-old wrote. “You know how they say swimmers can’t do anything on land … well it’s true.” She had injured her right ankle by slipping on the poolside floor last weekend in Dubai, and felt pain when walking afterwards, according to Hong Kong swimming head coach Chen Jianhong. Haughey had been set to swim in the 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle events in Monaco, but pulled out as a precaution with one eye on next month’s World Championships in Budapest. The injury was described as minor. It was not confirmed whether Haughey had any chance of returning for the Mare Nostrum’s second or third legs in Barcelona and Canet-en-Roussillon respectively in the next two weeks. “It’s a minor injury and we have been seeing improvements, but we’re trying to be smart about making the right decision for the long term,” Haughey’s post said. She was advised to skip the first leg following scans and an online consultation with Professor Patrick Yung Shu-hang in Hong Kong. “All I can say is that Siobhan’s case is not serious,” Dr Yung said. Chen was confident that Haughey would be fit enough to compete in Budapest, where she is targeting her first long-course world title. That competition runs from June 18 to 25. “In Monaco, we have a physiotherapist and two coaches from the Hong Kong Sports Institute with Siobhan,” Chen said. “They will take good care of her, and I believe she will be fine for the World Championships.” Haughey has yet to win a medal at the long-course worlds. Her best finish to date was fourth in 2019 in South Korea, but her star has risen since then. After winning silver medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, she won gold in both events at the short-course World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December. With this year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou having been postponed because of China’s Covid-19 outbreak, the main goals for Haughey this year are the long-course worlds in Budapest and the short-course worlds in Melbourne in December. Another Hong Kong Olympian, Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, made a splash at the Australian Championships on Friday night when she won the B final – which is open to overseas swimmers – in the 100 metres backstroke. World record-holder and Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown won the A final, which is reserved for Australians, in 58.49 seconds, securing her spot in the World Championships. But Au’s time of one minute 1.09 seconds was the fourth-fastest in the event, including the A final. “My final time is quite close to the 1:1.07 that I swam in the Tokyo Olympics,” Au said. “So I’m looking forward to swimming faster in Budapest.” Au relocated to the Gold Coast in December to train under Chris Mooney, who was coach to McKeown when she topped the podium three times at last year’s Olympics.