Siobhan Haughey has already become one of the most decorated swimmers from Hong Kong, she now looks towards the World Championships in Kazan aiming to become the first athlete from her nation to qualify for the Olympics with a FINA A standard.
In London Hong Kong was represented by four swimmers (3 pool and one open water), but they had achieved entry into the games through the universality placement system after achieving a FINA B standard.
“As far as I know, no Hong Kong swimmer has ever qualified for the A cut and that is my target,” Haughey told the China Morning Post.
Haughey achieved her lifetime best times in her main events at the 2013 Junior World Championships and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. At the 2013 Junior World Championships she won the the 100 freestyle in a time of 54.47 and took a bronze in the 50 freestyle in a time of 25.38. At the 2014 Youth Olympic Games she finished second in the 200 IM posting a time of 2:13.21.
She also won a silver in the 100 freestyle at the Youth Olympic Games, but did not achieve a lifetime best.
The FINA A standard for the 50 freestyle is a 25.28, for the 100 freestyle it is a 54.43 and for the 200 IM it is a 2:14.26.
“My 200m IM personal best is faster than the A cut,” said Haughey.
“However, I did that at the Youth Olympics, which unfortunately did not fall in the qualification period that has just started.”
Haughey will be focused on achieving the FINA A standards in Kazan before she heads to the University of Michigan in the fall.
“If I qualify it will be my first Olympics. Going to Rio has always been my dream and my long-term goal. I competed in more international races these two years and gained many racing experiences, which makes me more eager and determined to be at the Olympics,” says Haughey.
“Also, my personal bests are very close to the A cut so the ‘Olympic dream’ doesn’t seem so unrealistic after all. I will also be training with a new team and working with new coaches at the University of Michigan.”
“This will be a big change for me. However, I am very excited about that and am confident the coaches there can help me take that next step.”
Haughey now has one big item off her plate, she has just graduated from secondary school, “I like going to school and learning new knowledge, just like I enjoy swimming in the pool. However, preparing for an exam is mentally tiring while training for a competition is physically tiring.”
“Balancing both school and training can be hard, but it’s all about having good time management, being disciplined and knowing how to prioritize.”
“I am done with secondary school now. In order to manage everything, there were countless school days when I had to wake up at 3am in the morning to study or finish my homework.”
Being on the cusp of the FINA A standard (having already achieved it in the 200 IM) in more than one event Haughey has a good chance to leave Kazan as the first swimmer from Hong Kong to earn an automatic birth into the Olympic Games.