Olympics 2024: Siobhan Haughey swims second-fastest 200 metres freestyle of year to boost gold prospects in Paris

Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey swam the world’s second-fastest 200 metres freestyle time this year in Texas on Saturday to underline her status among the favourites for Olympic gold in Paris.

Haughey stormed to victory at the Pro Swim Series in San Antonio, leading the race throughout to clock one minute, 54.52 seconds and finishing ahead of Katie Ledecky of the United States, the Olympic champion over the distance in Rio in 2016.

Her winning time was 0.37 seconds faster than her gold medal-winning time of 1:54.89 at the World Championships in Qatar in February, and put her behind only Summer McIntosh of Canada in 2024. McIntosh clocked 1:54.21 this week at the Canadian Open.

Haughey won Olympic silver in Tokyo in 2021 in both the 200m and 100m freestyle, and looked in form in the latter, too, on Friday as she won in 52.74 seconds, almost a quarter of a second faster than second-placed Kate Douglass of the US.

Haughey lines up for the 100m final on Friday at Northside Swim Centre. Photo: Getty Images via AFP

Hong Kong’s Camille Cheng Lily-mei also swam in the 100m and 200m metres freestyle but was unable to make the finals of either.

Ian Ho Yentou, who, like Haughey, has qualified for Paris, also failed to reach the final in the 100m butterfly.

Haughey, Cheng and Ho all have 50m freestyle heats still to come in Texas.

Back in Hong Kong, another Olympic qualifier was in the pool, as rising star Cindy Cheung Sum-yuet won the 50m and 200m backstroke at the National Long Course Swimming Trial at Hong Kong Sports Institute.

Adam Mak Sai-ting was unable to secure a spot at the Olympics in the 200m breaststroke, falling 0.51 seconds short of his Hong Kong record of two minutes, 11.2 seconds.

Mak and Cheung will chase Olympic qualification again on Sunday in the 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke respectively.

The surprise of the day came from Li Sum-yiu, in the women’s 50m freestyle. The 14-year-old achieved the B qualifying time for the 2025 World Championships in Singapore, only to finish second behind regular Hong Kong representative Tam Hoi-lam.

A team may send only one swimmer from the B bracket.


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