UT’s Townley Haas swims his way to semifinal

Townley Haas (File Photo)
Townley Haas (File Photo)

RIO DE JAINERO (KXAN) – University of Texas Longhorn, Townley Haas qualified for the 200-meter freestyle semifinals Sunday at the Olympics Games in Rio.

The 19-year-old Sophomore touched the wall in 1:46.13, finishing second in his heat and tying for the fifth-best overall time along with James Guy of Great Britain.

The time was good enough to advance Haas in one of two semifinal races Sunday night. The top eight semifinal finishers will qualify for Monday night’s finals and a shot at Olympic gold.

KXAN’s Alicia Inns is in Rio and talked with Haas after his race.

“It’s been incredible, a little overwhelming I guess, but I’m getting used to it I guess. Having that swim get out of the way helped a lot,” he said.

His family traveled to Rio to watch him compete.

“Actually I think I heard my brother yell before I got up. You can’t ask for better support than your family, it’s incredible that they were able to make it out here,” Haas said.

Germany’s Paul Biedermann finished just ahead of Haas in their heat race with a 1:45.78.

Team USA teammate Conor Dwyer also qualified for Sunday night’s semifinals, winning the sixth-and-final heat with a time of 1:45.95.

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