London 2012: Hannah Wilson, swimming, Hong Kong

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Naturally when you hear the name Hannah Wilson, your immediate thoughts are "Hong Kong Olympic Swimming team."
Wait, they're not? Well, they should be (unless, of course, your thoughts first say "Californian Golden Bears"). The young Ms. Wilson (or as she is known in Hong Kong "韋漢娜") will be representing Hong Kong for the third time during the London Olympics in 2012, having first swam for the Special Administration Region in Athens at the age of 15 and then again in 2008 while she was a Cal swimmer).

Here's Hannah talking about the 2008 Olympics

A butterfly and freestyle specialist she grew up in Hong Kong (born to British parents) and gave up her British citizenship in order to swim for Hong Kong while she was a high school student at Island School. After the jump, let's take a look at her success at Cal:

• 2008 All-American (100-yard fly; 200-yard free relay; 400-yard free relay)

• Swam a lifetime best 52.85 in the in 100 fly at the 2008 NCAA Championships final to earn All-America honors.

• Was on the NCAA runner-up 200 free relay quartet (1:27.52, a new school record) at the 2008 NCAA Championships.

• Was the third leg of a foursome that set a Cal dual meet record with a 1:32.22 in the 200 free relay (first place finish) at UCLA (2/2/08).

• Was on the foursome that set a new Pac-10 meet record 3:13.22 in the 400 free relay at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships.

• Also on the quartet that established a new Cal dual meet record in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:16.54 at the Stanford dual meet (2/16/08).

• Clocked personal bests in the 100 free (48.84) and the 50 free (22.57) at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships.

• Her personal marks in the 50 free (22.57) and 100 free (48.84) rank sixth and eighth respectively on Cal's all-time performance charts.

Here's Hannah talking about the upcoming 2012 Olympics

She also holds several Hong Kong records and accomplishments while swimming for Hong Kong:

  • Holds Hong Kong records for the 100 free (55.32); 50 free (26.03) and the 100 fly; 59.35.
  • Competed in the 2005 and 2007 World Championships (Montreal and Melbourne, respectively); also competed in the 2006 Pan-Pacific Championships.
  • Won the bronze medal in 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2006 Asian Games.
  • Won 2 gold medals at the 2009 Universiade World Student Games in 100m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly.

Her most successful international experience however was at the 2009 World University Games (Universiade) where she won 2 Gold Medals, and set two World University Games records in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, and became the first Hong Kong athlete ever to win a medal at the Universiade.
We can thank one of her Hong Kong teammates, former Cal star and captain Sherry Tsai for recruiting Hannah to Cal and opening up the Hong Kong pipeline . . . which leads to Stephanie Au. Stay tuned for more! Remember to tweet your support for Hannah, and GO BEARS!

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