Some Hongkongers celebrated in shopping malls where they watched Siobhan Haughey take silver in the women’s 200 metre freestyle final, while SAR officials put out messages of congratulations.
About a hundred supporters had gathered at the APM mall in Kwun Tong where the race was broadcast live.
University student Casey, who was there with her friends, told RTHK it was the first time she had watched an Olympic game at a public venue.
“The atmosphere is very good [out here], so we all came to support her. I think this year Hong Kong has gone through bad social emotions. We think this is a happy event so we want to have some happy things, so we all came out,” she said.
Another spectator at the mall, Aaron, said he feels very proud of Hong Kong’s Olympics athletes.
“Whatever they get, even in whatever places, I support them wholeheartedly. I think that is a really great breakthrough for Hong Kong players, especially in the swimming competitions,” he said.
“Of course the people of Hong Kong and also the government should do even more for Hong Kong players because they deserve it. They are talents.”
RTHK also talked to Peggy, who was a secondary school classmate of Haughey’s for six years.
“She was very persistent, having a very strict athlete schedule, like she had morning training before school and after school she also went to training, this repeated like everyday,” said Peggy.
“As a classmate I could really tell that she was really hard-working and persistent… how could one balance this kind of schedule and workload and get good results in both swimming and school work? I really adore her and have looked up to her since secondary school.”
Haughey has an Irish father and a Hong Kong mother and Ireland’s Consul General to Hong Kong, David Costello, said the Irish community in the SAR is deeply proud of her.
Costello said the swimmer’s achievement will deepen the connection between Hong Kong and Ireland which dates back to the 1800s.
“Siobhan’s silver medal really kind of enriches that story,” he told RTHK.
“It adds to the amazing connectivity between Ireland and Hong Kong, and also I am sure equally the smaller Hong Kong diaspora in Ireland will be deeply proud of her achievement as well,” the consul general added.
Costello said the consulate is regularly in touch with the Haughey family and when Siobhan comes back they will definitely be congratulating her.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Home Affairs Secretary Casper Tsui also issued messages of congratulations, saying they are very proud of Haughey.
Hong Kong also got a medal in Tokyo on Monday when fencer Cheung Ka-long won Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold in 25 years.