Hong Kong’s top swimmer Siobhan Haughey shatters 200m freestyle world record at Fina World Swimming Championships

  • Siobhan Haughey sets the new world record at 1 minute 50.31 seconds
  • She is one of only two Hong Kong Olympians to have ever won two Olympic medals, both silvers which she snagged in July at the Tokyo Games
Yanni Chow |

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Siobhan Haughey from Hong Kong makes history again. Photo: AP

Hong Kong’s star swimmer Siobhan Haughey broke the women’s 200m freestyle world record on Thursday, becoming the city’s first world record holder in swimming.

The double Olympic silver medallist set the new world record at 1 minute 50.31 seconds, clinching gold at the short course Fina World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.

“When I touched the wall I didn’t even need to turn around and look at my time because I heard everyone screaming and clapping and that’s the moment when I knew I did it,” said Haughey after the win.

“It means so much to me and so much to Hong Kong because it’s our first gold medal and first world record.”

The 24-year-old beat Canada’s Rebecca Smith and Paige Madden from the US, both Olympic silver medallists, in the race.

Tokyo Olympics: Siobhan’s journey to the top

Haughey was presented with a US$50,000 cheque for breaking the world record.

The previous record was 1 minute 50.43 seconds, set by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom. She is Haughey’s teammate at Energy Standard and winner of this year’s International Swimming League.

In July, Haughey won two silvers at the Tokyo Games’ 100m and 200m freestyle, becoming one of only two Hong Kong Olympians who have ever won two Olympic medals.

In an interview with Young Post earlier this year, she talked about how she used to juggle swimming practices and school work. By the time she arrived at school at 8am, she had already been studying and swimming for four hours. After spending eight more hours at school, she still faced even more training and studying.

“Now that I look back on it, it’s kind of crazy and very tiring. But it’s all worth it in the end,” Haughey said at the time.

“I definitely have those days when I’m too tired to go to school or I just don’t feel like training. But then I go back to my long-term goal and think about why I am doing this.”

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