Thomas Barr beat world champion Jehue Gordon in the 400m hurdles in a new stadium record of 48.94 at a pulsating Morton Games in Dublin last night while the mile record for Morton was also shattered by American Will Leer in 3:51.82 as 10 men went under four minutes.
Barr (Ferrybank) clearly learned from his experience at the Cork City Sports where he finished third behind Olympic bronze medallist Javier Culson and US champion Johnny Dutch in 49.95.
“Yeah it really stood to me,” said Barr after the race. “I changed my stride pattern from Cork and it really worked a charm.”
The occasion had gotten to Barr slightly on Tuesday night but it gave him a valuable lesson in pressure and here he ran a storming last 120m to run down Gordon which sparked the crowd to life.
With the scene now set with perfect conditions for running, the women’s and men’s 800m were next on track with the exciting tussle between Mark English and Paul Robinson on the horizon.
USA’s Phoebe Wright edged Australia’s Selma Kajan in the women’s 800m – 2:01.91 to 2:01.96 – but Laura Crowe (An Ríocht) was unable to match strides with them in the final 200m and faded to 8th in 2:04.63.
That set the stage for the showdown between Mark English (UCD) and Paul Robinson (St Coca’s) and it was the Letterkenny man who took the win, and the stadium record, in 1:45.30. Robinson was on the move with 150m to go but he ran out of legs and finished fourth in 1:46.40. Junior athlete Karl Griffin (UCD) had a breakthrough with a PB of 1:47.44.
The last race of the evening was the men’s mile and it proved to be a classic. Donore’s John Travers went under four minutes for the mile for the first time in 3:55.44 and at one point looked set for a famous victory. He faded to 6th but 3:37.37 through 1500m qualified him for the European Championships (3:39.1).
Will Leer charged down the home straight to break the old stadium record of 3:53.8 in a world class mile with Patrick Casey second in 3:52.62 and Cory Leslie third in 3:53.44.
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