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ISL 2021: Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey back in action at International Swimming League play-offs

November 10, 2021 GMT

Hong Kong’s double Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games silver medallist Siobhan Haughey returns to the pool this week as the International Swimming League play-offs begin on Thursday.

Her unbeaten Energy Standard team are top of the standings after the regular season in Naples, Italy, with four wins from four matches and Haughey has been key to that success ahead of these semi-finals.

The Hongkonger took 30 jackpot points as she dominated the women’s 200m free in match three on her way to being rated as fifth in the MVP standings for the regular season behind Daiya Seto of Tokyo Frog Kings, Cali Condors duo Caeleb Dressel and Beata Nelson, and her teammate Sarah Sjostrom.

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Swimming World readers also voted Haughey as the most impressive swimmer of the regular season ahead of Nelson, Sjostrom and Abbie Wood of the New York Breakers. Haughey took 44 per cent of the vote.

Haughey and Energy Standard now travel to Eindhoven in the Netherlands as the play-offs begin to decide who will compete in next month’s final, which will now take place in Eindhoven on December 3 and 4.

The top four teams after the play-offs advance to the final, which had originally been scheduled for January with the location unconfirmed.

“Since the beginning of 2021, we had planned to hold the ISL Season 3 Final in early January 2022,” ISL CEO Konstantin Koudriaev told swimming website SwimSwam earlier this month. “However, the reality of the post-Covid era has wreaked havoc with many such plans ” including ours.

Table topping Energy Standard take on last season’s champions the Cali Condors for the first time this season in the opening match of the play-offs. Team Iron and Haughey’s former team the DC Trident are the other two teams in the first play-off, which meets on Thursday and Friday evening in Europe.

Haughey ” who turned 24 last month ” swam for DC Trident in the inaugural ISL season in 2019 before moving to champions Energy Standard in the close season.

The Paris-based team finished runners-up to the Cali Condors last season, which was swam behind closed doors in Budapest, Hungary, because of Covid-19 concerns. This season began in Naples from August 26 to September 30 before heading to the Netherlands this week.

Energy Standard are also in action on November 18 and 19 against Aqua Centurions, DC Trident and Toronto Titans.

Their final play-off match sees them take on DC Trident once more alongside LA Current and London Roar on November 25 and 26.

The Britain-based side could see the return of Olympic star Adam Peaty after the breaststroke specialist was voted off the UK reality show Strictly Come Dancing.

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Some athletes had discussed a potential boycott of the play-offs amid delayed payments from last season, The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month.

Haughey is set to appear as a guest speaker alongside former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard at the International Starfish Foundation’s virtual charity dinner on Saturday, which begins at 7pm Hong Kong time.

The event, which will be streamed live from Hong Kong Football Club, is also set to feature virtual appearances former Rangers boss Alex McLeish, former Scotland rugby star Doddie Weir and former Liverpool footballer Gary McAllister.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia. For more SCMP stories, please download our mobile app, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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