Swimmer Siobhan Haughey made history – again – at the Tokyo Games in becoming Hong Kong’s first multiple Olympics medal winner by snatching silver in a scintillating 100 metres freestyle final on Friday.
Swimming in lane 5 after posting the second-fastest time in the semis, Haughey was pressured from the start by Australia’s Emma McKeon – who had set an Olympic record during her semifinal race.
McKeon reached the turn first, with Haughey just two-hundredths of a second behind.
The final 50 metres of the race was a nail-biter, with Haughey, and Australian Cate Campbell trying desperately to catch up to McKeon.
But the Australian was too quick – coming in first in a time of 51.96 seconds – an Olympic record, and the second fast time in history.
Haughey came just behind, setting yet another new Asian record of 52.27 seconds. Campbell won bronze.
Haughey showed no sign of disappointment, her face beaming with her signature wide smile as she took in the significance of her achievements.
After the race, she told reporters that she didn't feel too much pressure because she had already achieved a new personal best of 52.40 seconds in the semifinal, and that was perhaps why she performed so well.
Asked about her strategy, Haughey said it was simple: "power forward, then power forward some more."
Haughey had just made history two days prior by earning Hong Kong's first-ever medal in swimming – a silver in the 200 metres freestyle event – and she had repeatedly set new personal bests and Asian records in the process.
But if she has aspirations for a third medal in the 50 metres freestyle event, she wasn't showing it, saying she's just hoping to "have fun" in the race. Haughey is scheduled to compete in heat 11 of the event at 6.45pm Hong Kong time on Friday evening.
The 23-year-old also thanked her legions of fans in Hong Kong for their support.
Hong Kong athletes have now doubled their historical medal count in Tokyo. Cheung Ka-long won a fencing gold on Monday, followed by Haughey’s double silver in the pool.
Previously, Hong Kong athletes had won a total of three Olympic medals – one gold, one silver and a bronze.