Thomas Barr makes history with bronze medal in Berlin

By Will Downing, Berlin

Thomas Barr has won bronze for Ireland in the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, with a magnificent finish to grab third place in the men’s 400m hurdles final.

Thomas Barr celebrates finishing third in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final. Pic: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Thomas Barr celebrates finishing third in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final. Pic: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A thrilling climax saw Olympic champion Karsten Warholm of Norway pip Turkey’s defending European champion Yasmani Copello on the line after dominating for most of the race.

26-year-old Waterford athlete Barr was in his own dramatic battle for bronze against France’s Ludvy Vaillant.

It was still neck-and-neck between them past the final hurdle, but the Ferrybank AC speedster employed his famous kick to slip through on the outside and add his first major Championship medal to the World University Games title from 2015.

Barr was drawn on the outside in lane eight, where Kori Carter won women’s 400m hurdles gold at last year’s World Championships in London, and likewise did not find it a hinderance.

Warholm set a new Norwegian record and European Under-23 record of 47.64 seconds in taking the gold, ahead of Copello’s Turkish national record of 47.81.

Barr’s bronze-medal winning time of 48.31 seconds was a season’s best, inching out Vaillant by 0.11 seconds, with the Frenchman also setting a lifetime best.

It’s Irelands 15th all-time medal at the European athletics Championships, with recent bronzes for Mark English on 2014 and Ciara Mageean two years ago.

Leon Reid aims for another in the men’s 200m final at 8:05pm Irish time.

More to follow.

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