Haughey an ‘inspiration’ to HK athletes: sports chief

Sports Commissioner Yeung Tak-keung on Friday said the “remarkable” achievement of Siobhan Haughey at the Fina World Swimming Championships is an inspiration to local athletes.

Haughey took gold and broke the world record in the 200 metres freestyle short course in Abu Dhabi on Thursday – becoming the first Hong Kong athlete to set a world record in a swimming event.

“Her performance inspired a lot of other swimmers as well as athletes in other sports. It shows that our elite training system is world class. We can produce and support world class athletes,” Yeung told RTHK.

“Of course, Siobhan works very hard. She remains very focused and has set very clear goals for herself. We are very happy to see that her hard work paid off.”

The commissioner said the government will continue to support the sport.

“Swimming is at the moment an elite A sport at the Sports Institute. That means we already provide them full support, including the training expenses, employment of full-time coaches,” Yeung said, adding that a review is to be conducted to see if there are areas that require improvements.

He also said Hong Kong has many athletes with good potential and the administration will invest a lot in sports in the future, in the hope that more young people join the Sports Institute and become full-time athletes.