Siobhan Haughey’s long course return is being put on hold after the two-time Olympic silver medalist from Hong Kong announced Friday that a minor ankle injury will keep her out of the Mare Nostrum Tour kicking off this weekend in Monaco.
“Unfortunately, I injured my ankle and will be sitting out the Mare Nostrum series (You know how they say swimmers can’t do anything on land … well it’s true),” the 24-year-old Haughey wrote on Instagram. “I’m lucky to have a great team around me to get me back into training and hopefully be ready for racing soon. It’s a minor injury and we have been seeing improvements, but we’re trying to be smart about making the right decision for the long term. I’ll still be cheering on my teammates and friends at Mare Nostrum.”
According to her coach, Tom Rushton, Haughey hurt her ankle by falling during a day off last Saturday. She could barely walk on Sunday, but Rushton said it’s been better each day since. Haughey was scheduled to swim the 50, 100 and 200 free events in Monaco.
If Haughey can recover quickly, she could be back in time for the FINA World Championships slated for June 18-25. With Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus absent from the 200 free in Budapest, Hungary, Haughey would likely be favored to win her first Long Course World Championships gold medal.
“It has been a long time since Haughey competed in long course, which is far from ideal for her to prepare for the World Championships,” Jianhong said before news of Haughey’s injury broke. “The Mare Nostrum tour has a long tradition and will be a good opportunity – she can use it as a warm-up for the worlds. We won’t set any target for the series, but of course Haughey is at a very high standard and can always produce good results.”
Last summer in Tokyo, Haughey became the first Hong Kong athlete in the country’s history to win two Olympic medals, taking home silver medals in both the 100 and 200 freestyle. The University of Michigan graduate then dominated the ISL as a member of Energy Standard, going undefeated in the 200 freestyle and breaking the Asian record in the 100 freestyle. After the ISL season concluded, Haughey wrapped up the short course season by winning a gold medal in the 200 freestyle at the 2021 Short Course World Championships, breaking Sarah Sjostrom’s World Record in the process. A podium finish at the Long Course World Championships has eluded Haughey, however, with her best result being fourth place in the 200 free in South Korea in 2019.
Sjostrom now figures to be the favorite in the 50 free, but the Swedish star didn’t enter in the 100 or 200 free in Monaco, where Haughey was the top seed in both events. After this weekend in Monaco, the Mare Nostrum Tour continues with two days in Barcelona before wrapping up in Canet-en-Roussillon in the south of France.