16 December 2021

Hong Kong, China’s Siobhan Haughey Makes History, Setting New World Record On First Day

Siobhan Haughey could not have asked for a better start to the FINA Swimming World Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi as the Hong Kong, China athlete set a new world record in the women’s 200m Freestyle to become her country’s first-ever swimming world champion.

The 24-year-old, a silver medalist in the 100m and 200m at the 2020 Olympics, clocked 1:50.31 at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena on the first day of the global prestigious competition. She finished ahead of Canada’s Rebecca Smith (1:52.24) and USA’s Paige Madden (1:53.01).

Haughey was thrilled to claim the gold medal and said the amazing support and atmosphere inside the Etihad Arena spurred her on in her victory.

During a press conference she said: “It’s been a while since I’ve been to a swim meet where there have been spectators there, and as I walked out, I definitely heard the Hong Kong, China team cheer for me and that kind of helped. To have the Hong Kong, China team and the other spectators there definitely created a better atmosphere and the way that the swimming pool has been designed made it a lot more intimidating with the spectators there watching. I didn’t hear much during the race but definitely before the race I heard a lot of people cheering and it got me excited.”

Speaking on her achievement of setting a new world record, she described it as a special moment in her career. She said: “It’s not really hit me yet. I don’t really truly understand what that means, maybe when I sleep and when I wake up tomorrow morning and think yeah, that was crazy. But I really don’t know what that means right now because I still have more races to come but it’s something that is very special for me.

“I don’t know what to expect (on what’s next) and don’t know what’s after this but I just want to keep getting better and see what I need to improve on.”

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