Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Haughey capped off a successful few days on Monday when she was honoured by the University of Michigan for her academic and athletic excellence as the 21-year-old prepares to graduate with a degree in psychology later this year.
Haughey, who was in Hong Kong to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last weekend, ended her distinguished college career with the Michigan Wolverines earlier this month after guiding her team to a third-place finish at the illustrous NCAA Championships.
The Olympian received the Big Ten Medal of Honour at the University of Michigan’s annual Student-Athlete Recognition Celebration on Monday evening.
Each Big Ten member institution awards medals to one male and one female student at the end of each academic year.
Haughey became one of just 1,300 honorees in the US to receive the award since it was established in 1915, and only the third athlete from Michigan’s swimming and diving programme to earn the honour.
Haughey was credited with a dramatic turnaround in the Michigan swimming team’s fortunes during her time at the university and helped the institution to three consecutive Big Ten titles between 2016 and 2018, as well as record back-to-back top-four finishes at the NCAA Championships.
She was also hugely successful on an individual level during her college career becoming a 15-time Big Ten champion, earning 14 CSCAA (College Swimming Coaches Association of America) All-American nods as well as 11 CSCAA All-America Honourable Mentions.
She also set a number of national and university records during her time in Michigan, notably in the 100-metre freestyle, 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley disciplines.
In recent years she has gone from strength to strength on the international stage also. Haughey reached the semi-finals of the 200m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and the final in the same event at the 2017 World Championships.
She completed a quick return to Hong Kong last weekend to smash her own national record in the 100m freestyle and secure qualification for the upcoming World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, as well as the 2020 Olympics, where she will be one of Hong Kong’s leading medal hopes.
After competing in last week’s Festival of Sport Time Trial at the Sports Institute in Fo Tan, Haughey praised the Michigan training programme.
“The programme in Michigan has made me a better swimmer,” she said. “In fact, I only found out what professional training looks like after arriving the States. The training intensity is much higher and all the team members are looking to progress, and pushing each other for better performance.”
She also revealed she would be staying in Michigan to prepare for the World Championships and the Olympic Games.
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