Siobhan HaugheyThe return to long-course is suspended after the double Olympic silver medalist from Hong Kong announced on Friday that a minor ankle injury would prevent her from participating in the Mare Nostrum Tour which begins this weekend in Monaco.
“Unfortunately I injured my ankle and will be absent from the Mare Nostrum series (you know how they say swimmers can’t do anything on land…well it’s true),” Haughey, 24 . wrote on Instagram. “I’m lucky to have a great team around me to get back into training and I hope to be ready to race soon. It’s a minor injury and we’ve seen improvements, but we’re trying to be smart to make the right long-term decision. I will continue to cheer on my teammates and friends at Mare Nostrum.
According to his trainer, Tom Rushton, Haughey injured her ankle when she fell on an off day last Saturday. She could barely walk on Sunday, but Rushton said she’s gotten better every day since. Haughey was scheduled to swim the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events in Monaco.
If Haughey can recover quickly, she could be back in time for the FINA World Championships scheduled for June 18-25. With Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus missing the 200m freestyle in Budapest, Hungary, Haughey would likely be the favorite to win her first long course World Championships gold medal.
Hong Kong Swimming Coach Chen Jianhong had told the South China Morning Post that the three-stage Mare Nostrum series was a time for Haughey to tune up ahead of the world championships.
“It’s been a long time since Haughey has competed in the long course, which is less than ideal for preparing for the World Championships,” Jianhong said ahead of Haughey’s injury news. “The Mare Nostrum tour has a long tradition and will be a good opportunity – it can use it as a warm-up for the World Championships. We won’t be setting any goals for the series, but of course Haughey is at a very high level 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, winning silver medals in the 100 and 200 m freestyle. The University of Michigan graduate went on to dominate the ISL as a member of Energy Standard, going undefeated in the 200m freestyle and breaking the Asian record for the 100m freestyle. Following the end of the ISL season, Haughey concluded the short course season by winning a gold medal in the 200m freestyle at the 2021 World Short Course Championships, breaking Sarah Sjostrom‘s World Record in the process. A podium at the World Long Course Championships eluded Haughey, however, with his best result being fourth in the 200 freestyle in South Korea in 2019.
Sjostrom is now the favorite in the 50 freestyle, but the Swedish star did not compete in the 100 or 200 freestyle in Monaco, where Haughey was seeded in both events. After this weekend in Monaco, the Mare Nostrum Tour continues with two days in Barcelona before ending in Canet-en-Roussillon in the south of France.