SOTY 2014: Last year's Student of the Year Sportsperson winner, Siobhan Haughey, continues making a splash

By Vien Tsang

Siobhan Haughey, winner of the 2013 South China Morning Post Student of the Year - Sportsperson award talks about the 2014 Asian Games and her hopes for the future

By Vien Tsang |

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Siobhan Haughey is on top of her game, both in school and in the pool

It's been another fruitful year for swimmer Siobhan Haughey. Just last month at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, she anchored Hong Kong to three bronze medals in relay events: the 4x100 metres and 4x200m freestyle, and the 4x100m medley.

"I am still exhilarated by the 4x100m freestyle relay. That was my first-ever final in the Asian Games," says the Form Six student from St Paul's Secondary School. 

"Our original aim was to fight for the bronze medal with Korea because China and Japan are really tops, but we ended up being closer to Japan than we expected. This is very encouraging."

She shared the victory with her teammates Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, Camille Cheng and Sze Hang-yu.

Siobhan has had other successes this year. At the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in August, she pocketed two silver medals in the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

But for Siobhan it's not just the victories that make swimming interesting.

"I enjoy the cultural and sports exchange at the Games and it has been a pleasure competing with other student athletes," says Siobhan, who will turn 17 this month. "And I still keep in touch with other Hong Kong team athletes."

Siobhan regards winning the SCMP Student of the Year - Sportsperson award as a starting point for her amazing journey this year.

"It was an honour to be nominated with other student athletes. It means a lot - especially because it is something outside the swimming pool," she says. "I hope Hong Kong will continue to support student athletes."

The 1.74m-tall sports star, who helped her school win a gold medal in the A Grade 4x50m medley relay at the Division Two Inter-School Competition, hasn't forgotten about her studies.

To maintain both her sports and academic standards, Siobhan finishes her homework at lunchtime so she can study and swim in the evening. 

Next year, she is planning to study and train in the US. But before that, Siobhan is determined to do well in the upcoming HKDSE. 

"I have studied in Hong Kong for years and I want to see how much I have learned. I believe it is a stage that I, as a Hong Kong student, should go through," she explains. 

To prepare for the exam, Siobhan will train less - but not for long: she's already set her sights on competing in next year's World Championships in Russia and qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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