Heroic Thomas Barr falls just short in his bid for an historic Olympic medal 3 years ago

Heroic Thomas Barr falls just short in his bid for an historic Olympic medal


So close to an historic medal.

Thomas Barr has fallen short in his bid to make history in Rio de Janeiro, finishing fourth in the 400 metre hurdles, outside the medals, in a new Irish record of 47.97.

Kerron Clement of United States won in 47.73, with Boniface Mucheru of Kenya taking silver and Yasmani Copello of Turkey coming third.

To even reach Thursday's final was an amazing achievement - the Waterford native was first Irish athlete to appear in a sprint final in 84 years., when Bob Tisdall won gold in the same event at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.

The 24-year-old from Waterford showed no sign of nerves as he took his place in the blocks in Lane 4.

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After a solid start, the University of Limerick student settled into his pace but, rounding the second bend, he looked off the pace.

However he showed a similar kick to his semi-final to set up a nail-biting finish. If the race had been another 10 metres he would surely have taken bronze.

Nothing can take away from the sensational performance of Barr, who has overcome a difficult season of injuries and loss of form to produce his best performances on the biggest stage of all in Rio de Janeiro.

He went into the final as the third fastest qualifier after winning his semi-final with a new Irish record of 48.39.

Sonia O'Sullivan remains the last Irish athlete to win a medal on the track, claiming silver in the 5,000m at the Sydney Games in 2000.