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World of Sport

10th Aug 2018

‘I can finally stop living off that fourth place at the Olympics’ – Thomas Barr

Jack O'Toole

Irish hurdler Thomas Barr became the first Irish man to claim a medal in 84 years at the European championships when he won bronze in the 400m hurdle final in Berlin on Thursday.

Barr clocked a time of 48.31 to finish in third place behind Turkey’s Yasmani Copello and Norway’s Karsten Warholm.

Barr finished in fourth place at the 2016 Rio Olympics while he was a non-starter at last year’s world championships in London after contracting gastroenteritis.

The European championships was one of the finest performances of his career and the 26-year-old reflected that it was nice to finally receive some hardware after years of competition.

“Unbelievable, I can quit now, I’m done,” Barr told Athletics Ireland after his race.

“It’s been a long time coming. Like the year that I had last year, I’ve been talking about a medal, everyone has been talking about a medal all year and I knew that Copello and Warholm were the favorites by a longshot.

“I knew after that it was fight for third place and if everything had gone well I could have been up there competing for a medal position but to be coming home with a medal when the field of international hurdling is in such a ridiculous state when guys are running 47’s just for fun, so to be up there, and to have run one of the fastest races of my life when it counts, is just amazing.”

Barr thanked his friends, family and coaches for helping him along his journey and added that it’s nice to finally have some silverware after coming so close at the Olympics two years ago.

“I’ve a bit of hardware to take home,” the Waterford native added.

“There’s only so long you can live off Olympic fourth place so at least now I have some medals to add to my bio.”