By Tom Grundy and Kelly Ho.
Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Haughey has won another silver medal in the women’s 100m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.
Haughey came in at 52:27 and was beaten by Australia’s Emma McKeon, who finished at 51:96 – an Olympic record. Cate Campbell, also of Australia, took the bronze with 52:52.
The Hong Kong swimmer broke the women’s 100m freestyle Asian record on Friday, and became the first local athlete to win more than one Olympic medal.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old won silver in the 200m freestyle race, bringing the city’s medal haul to three, after Edgar Cheung bagged a gold in fencing on Monday.
“Everyone got up so early to watch me compete. Thank you everyone for your support,” she told the press.
Mr Chan, who applied for a day off from work to watch the Hong Kong swimmer’s race in the morning, said he was “extremely nervous” when he watched Haughey compete at APM mall.
“Hong Kong has never seen its swimmers making it to the final [until Haughey], I was really touched,” he said.
The 45-year-old praised the performance of the Hong Kong team at the Tokyo Olympics as “superb,” saying it is all thanks to the resources the Hong Kong Sports Institute spent on grooming the athletes in recent years.
Chan said he enjoyed watching in the mall as there were more interactions among the audiences and the atmosphere was better: “I will come to the mall again, when cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze competes, [she may] snatch another medal,” he said.
Karen Kwok, 19, said she lives in Tsueng Kwan O but decided to go to the Kwun Tong shopping centre for a more fervent atmosphere to “bless the Hong Kong swimmer with other Hongkongers.” She thanked Haughey for clinching the city’s third medal: “Hongkongers are deeply honoured. We thank her for bringing this moment of glory to the city.”
But Kwok cited a reminder from the star swimmer: “Haughey said we should not just look at one or two minutes of glory on the screen, we should also pay attention to the hard work athletes put in behind the scenes. I think it is a very good reminder.”
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Haughey attended school in the city until she went to the US to attend the University of Michigan. The half-Irish athlete holds multiple Hong Kong and Asia swimming records. Her first Olympics was the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer games.
The Tokyo games are the first time Hong Kong has taken home more than one medal. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said Haughey has brought glory to Hong Kong: “Haughey has fully demonstrated great skill and perseverance to stay ahead of competitors, achieving an excellent result for Hong Kong,” Lam said on Wednesday.