So near, yet so Barr: Hurdler within 0.05 seconds of a medal

“I’d say if I had 405m, you’d never know what could have happened.”
So near, yet so Barr: Hurdler within 0.05 seconds of a medal

That was how, just minutes after the race, Thomas Barr described his fourth — and so very nearly third — place in yesterday’s Olympic 400m hurdles final.

Just five hundredths of a second, little more than a blink of an eye, was how close the Waterford hurdler, aged 24, was to the bronze medal.

His time of 47.96 would have won him a bronze medal four years ago in the London Olympics and he would have got a silver at the event a further four years back.

But yesterday he cemented his place as yet another of Ireland’s exemplary sportsmen and women by accentuating the positives in spite of what might have been.

He told RTÉ in the post-race interview that he was delighted with how the race had gone.

“I’m absolutely delighted of course to have made it to the final and I’m delighted to see a 47 [seconds] up on that clock, which I didn’t expect,” said Barr.

“After two runs in the legs already I was coming out here a little bit with dead legs already so I’m delighted with how the race went.

“Maybe it was a step too far this time around, my first international senior final. Fourth is probably the best and worst place to come, you know.”

Barr also paid tribute to the Irish supporters who were in the stadium to support him, saying the first thing he noticed as he came onto the track was the mass of Irish flags.

“I have to thank the fans for coming out and supporting me. They take time out of their day to come out and shout me on and it gave me a massive boost,” he said

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