A newspaper has been forced to delete an online headline about Hong Kong silver medallist Siobhan Haughey after it was labelled "disgusting" and "shameful".
Haughey claimed silver in the women's 200m freestyle final on Wednesday at the Olympics behind Aussie golden girl Ariarne Titmus.
Haughey's silver medal was just the fifth medal won by Hong Kong in Olympics history, and the first in swimming.
However her incredible achievement was somewhat overshadowed by how it was reported.
South China Morning Post described Haughey as a 'mixed-race mermaid' due to her Hong Kong and Irish heritage.
Haughey's father Darach is Irish and her great uncle Charles was a former Irish Prime Minister.
She has previously declined an invitation to swim for Ireland at international level.
The SCMP has since deleted the headline after intense backlash.
— Andrew MacGregor Marshall (@zenjournalist) July 28, 2021
— Corinne Podger (@corinne_podger) July 28, 2021
Mixed race > mermaid > swimmer > athlete > Hong Kong athlete
Pretty sure Siobhan would have preferred "the Hong Kong athlete"
— Verbatim HKG 🇭🇰🇹🇼🏅 (@VerbatimHKG) July 28, 2021
Terrible, even for SCMP
— Wesley James 韋😷 (@WesJWHK) July 28, 2021
This is just sad. Shame the author.
— Karthik Kamalakannan (@imkarthikk) July 28, 2021
Mixed-race? Really? They couldn’t do better than this? Like there isn’t enough division in the world already. Siobhan brings nothing but triumph to Hong Kong. @SCMPNews You can do better than this! Shame on you!!!
— One Voice (@Resist4Dem) July 28, 2021
Siobahn Haughey proud to represent Hong Kong
Haughey was over the moon to capture Hong Kong's second medal of the Tokyo Games after Cheung Ka-long won gold in fencing.
“My achievement, coupled with Cheung Ka-long in fencing, can inspire other Hong Kong athletes who are here in Tokyo,” she said.
“Those swimmers back home - continue to train hard and you will be the next.”
Titmus touched in a new Olympic record time of 1min 53.50sec, with a sluggish Katie Ledecky relegated to fifth.
Haughey took the silver in 1:53.92, with Canada's Penny Oleksiak third (1:54.70).
Titmus toppled Ledecky as the 400m champion on Monday and again proved too good over the shorter distance, powering through the field to win after turning at 150m in third.
She still has the 800m freestyle and the 4x200m relay to go at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in a gruelling program.
"Bloody exhausted, that was a tough one," said Titmus.
"Honestly, it's not the time that I thought I could do this morning but it's the Olympics and there's a lot of other things going on.
"So it's just about winning here and I'm very happy."
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