Richmond native Haas finishes 5th in men’s 200-meter freestyle final

RIO DE JANEIRO (WRIC) — Richmond native Townley Haas swam the best time of his life in the 200-meter freestyle final Monday night, and it earned in him a fifth-place finish.

Haas, 19, a graduate of Benedictine, finished just under one second behind gold medal winner Sun Yang of China. Haas’s University of Texas teammate and fellow American Connor Dwyer earned a bronze medal, finishing just behind South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, who won silver.

Haas’s time of 1:45:58 was even faster than the Olympic Trial winning time he swam in Omaha to qualify for Rio. His friends and family packed Glory Days Grill on Ridgefield Parkway to cheer him on. Haas’s grandfather, Jack Hanky, said he was more nervous to watch his grandson swim in the Olympics than during the birth of any of his more than 20 grandchildren.

Haas will also swim in the Men’s 4×200-meter relay Tuesday night. Mr. Hanky was so encouraged by Townley’s 2016 performance he may even consider going to Tokyo for the 2020 games.

“The future is unreal,” Hanky said.

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