UL's Thomas Barr storms into Olympic semi-final

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

UL's Thomas Barr storms into Olympic semi-final

Thomas Barr crosses the line during round 1 of the Men's 400m Hurdles in the Olympic Stadium Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

UL student Thomas Barr has become the first Irish athlete for 84 years to reach the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles at an Olympic Games.

Barr also ran over a second faster than his season best, clocking a highly impressive 48.93 seconds to finish second in his heat behind the Japanese national champion Keisuke Nozawa who won the heat in 48.62.

Thomas Barr from True Media on Vimeo.

In reaching Wednesday morning’s semi-final Waterford native Barr became the first Irish athlete to do so since Bob Tisdall back in 1932.

Twenty four-year-old MSc Sports Performance student Barr was also Ireland’s Athlete of the Year in 2015. He won gold in the World University Games and narrowly missed out on a place in the final of the World Champions in Beijing.

Thomas Barr will compete in the third of the 400m hurdles semi-finals at 1.49am Irish time this Wednesday morning.

The first two athletes home in each semi-final will qualify automatically for the Olympic final along with the next two fastest non-automatic qualifiers.