Siobhan Haughey ‘can’t wait’ for Fina World Cup, after high-altitude training camp
- Hong Kong’s double Olympic silver medallist returns to the international fold after a 10-month absence, with four races this weekend
- The 24-year-old spent four weeks training at 2,320 metres in Sierra Nevada ahead of three-leg World Cup series starting in Berlin
Siobhan Haughey will return to the international stage on Friday boosted by a high-altitude training camp, with Hong Kong’s double Olympic silver medallist set to compete at the Fina World Cup leg in Berlin.
The 24-year-old has not competed for her home city since the short-course World Championships in Abu Dhabi last December, where she won gold in the 100 metres and 200m freestyle – setting a short-course world record in the latter.
Haughey then returned to her professional team, Energy Standard, for a training camp at altitude in Spain’s Sierra Nevada under the guidance of Tom Rushton last month.
“Four weeks at 2,320m and we’re finally going back down to sea level for some oxygen. Cannot wait to race again,” Haughey recently posted on Instagram.
The three-leg Fina World Cup kicks off this weekend in Germany, followed by Toronto the following week and Indianapolis the week after.
Haughey – voted the “Best of the Best” at the 2022 Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards – was invited to compete at all three legs of the event as one of Fina’s “elite swimmers”.
The Hongkonger will compete in four events at Berlin’s SSE Arena, including her main event – the 200m free – on Saturday, and the 100m free on Sunday, as well as the 50m and 400m freestyle as warm-ups on Friday.
Haughey finished third in the 400m free at the Abu Dhabi short course Worlds in December with a time of 3:58.12, and holds the Asian record of 23.75 in the 50m free.
With Swedish star Sarah Sjorstrom having decided to miss the World Cup series in preparation for the 2023 Worlds and 2024 Paris Olympics, the field in the 50m free is wide open, with Haughey tipped to be a gold medal contender.
“We have complete faith in Siobhan,” head coach Chen Jianhong said. “Even though the World Cups are primarily preparation for the short course Worlds [in December], she will do her absolute best to swim a good time.
“She will definitely benefit from high-altitude training before a big event, because it has a multiplying effect on improving aerobic capacity. We almost went somewhere for high-altitude training once or twice a year before the pandemic.”
Hong Kong will send 11 swimmers to join Haughey in the second and third World Cup legs in Toronto and Indianapolis, including record holders Stephanie Au Hoi-shun and Hayden Kwan, as well as men’s breaststroke stars Adam Chillingworth and Benson Wong, and world junior bronze medallist Adam Mak Sai-ting.