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Richmond at the Olympics: A Status Update on Local Athletes in Rio



Townley Haas
Age: 19

Sport: Swimming

Richmond connection: Henrico County native, Benedictine College Preparatory graduate, trained at Nova of Virginia Aquatics.

Competed in: 200-meter freestyle.

Won: Fifth place. Haas finished a mere 0.93 seconds behind China’s gold medalist. Though Haas won the 200-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials in June, his teammate Conor Dwyer bested him in the Olympic finals, earning a bronze medal.

Competed in: 800-meter relay.

Won: First place. Haas got his gold Tuesday night when he was the third leg on the 800-meter relay team with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. He started his heat with an 0.11-second lead and widened it to more than 2 seconds.

Carmen Farmer
Age: 35

Sport: Rugby sevens

Richmond connection: Varina native, Varina High School graduate.

Farmer was a standout high-school athlete and played softball for Virginia Tech. Rio 2016 marks the return of rugby to the Olympics, albeit in seven-a-side form. The men’s team in 1924 beat out Romania and France for the gold with the standard 15-member team the last time rugby was an Olympic sport.

Update: The U.S. women’s team placed fifth, beating France in its final game on Monday.

Cheta Emba
Age: 28

Sport: Rugby sevens

Richmond connection: Glen Allen native, Maggie Walker Governor’s School graduate.

Update: Emba was an alternate on the sevens rugby team that placed fifth.

Reid Priddy
Age: 38

Sport: Volleyball

Richmond connection: A native.

Update: The men’s team plays again Thursday against Brazil, Saturday against France and Monday against Mexico. Having lost against Canada and Italy, it will be an uphill battle for the team to get out of its pool and into the finals. Quarterfinals begin Wednesday, Aug. 17. His fourth Olympics, and two years removed from an ACL tear, Priddy has been more of a veteran presence on the sidelines these games. He’s the oldest of the 12-man team. (It’s a six-a-side game.)

María-Elena Calle
Age: 41

Sport: Marathon

Richmond connection: Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, lives in Richmond.

Update: Calle, an occupational therapist, runs the marathon for her native Ecuador on Sunday, Aug. 14.

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