2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
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Siobhan Haughey will not be racing individually at the 2022 World Championships due to ongoing complications from the ankle injury that she suffered in May 2022. Haughey made the last-minute decision not to race at this meet and will be absent from the 100 and 200 freestyles.
We reported on May 20, 2022, that Haughey had injured her ankle and decided to pull out of the Mare Nostrum series. At the time Haughey described the injury as “minor.” Her coach Tom Rushton reported at the time Haughey could barely walk on the day that she injured it.
But one month later, Haughey hasn’t been able to return to full form despite receiving “fantastic treatment” from the medical staff that worked with her over the past month. Tom Rushton provided a full update on how Haughey is doing and explained her decision to not race at this meet:
“Siobhán has made the decision to not race here in Budapest. Obviously, it’s been a difficult call to make but the whole team around her support her in it.
When she injured her ankle in mid-May we knew it was going to be a challenge to get to 100% by World Championships. She’s received fantastic treatment from the sports medicine staff on the Hong Kong team as well as the local clubs where we’ve been on the Mare Nostrum tour and in Fenerbahçe (Istanbul). They’ve all worked hard to get her to this point, and we want to acknowledge the job they’ve done – getting from where she was to being able to consider racing is because of them” said Ruston.
He went on to say “none of us are here to just show up, we want to be here and be racing with the best in the world; performing our best, against the best, at the best possible time. She wouldn’t feel like she could do justice to the work she put in before the injury if she were to take to the starting blocks here.”
“For now we’ll take a step back – mentally and emotionally this has been a very trying few weeks – so with that pressure lifted we can relax and start to plan for the fall and go forward from there.”
Haughey is a big absence in the women’s events and was the top seed in both the 100 and 200 freestyles. Her entry times of 52.27 and 1:53.92 come from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where she collected a pair of silver medals. She finished second in both events to Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus, respectively.
With McKeon and Titmus and without Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 freestyle Cate Campbell, 200 free bronze medalist Penny Oleksiak becomes the only Tokyo Olympic medalist in the 100 or 200 free that will race either event.
Both of those swims were new Hong Kong national records as well as new Asian records for Haughey. After winning double silver at Tokyo 2020, Haughey ended 2021 by setting a new world record in the short course 200 freestyle when she hit a 1:50.31 to take out Sarah Sjostrom’s time of 1:50.43.
She hit that world record at the 2021 Short Course Swimming Championships where she won gold in both the 100 and 200 freestyles, along with bronze in the 400 freestyle. Her winning 100 time was a 50.98 Championship record and in the 400 she swam a 3:58.12.
Mollie O’Callaghan of Australia will now become the top seed in the 100 freestyle with her 52.49 from earlier this year and Tang Muhan from China will be the top seed in the 200 with a 1:54.26.
The fact that Haughey has dropped out of this meet is also notable because Haughey won’t have any other high-level racing opportunities this summer. Unlike the Canadians, Australians, and British swimmers who can swim at the Commonwealth Games and the Americans who might get a shot at Duel in the Pool, Hong Kong doesn’t have any other big meets.
The 2022 Asian Games, which Hong Kong would have raced at, were pushed to 2023 earlier this year amid coronavirus concerns. Hong Kong used to be a part of the Commonwealth but was peaceably handed over to China in 1997, meaning that the country doesn’t race at Commonwealth Games.