Thomas Barr Into Semis As Team Ireland Start Track Events

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Team Ireland track athlete Thomas Barr came second in his heat to confirm a spot in the Men’s 400m Hurdles semi-finals on Friday morning.

An impressive finish brought the Irishman up to fourth in heat three and granted him a time of 49.02, behind only Norway’s Karsten Warholm – the athlete expected to win the heat.

The top four spots granted athletes automatic qualification into the semi-finals with Barr among them and guaranteed a decent starting spot in the race.

The Rio Olympics fourth placer qualified 11th-fastest in the heats on what is seen as a quick track but his second-place finish is the one that matters as they grant starting positions based on the latter.

The Irishman’s time bodes well for him as he looks set to fall into the pattern of progression throughout each round at previous championships.

His times from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Berlin 2018 showcase increased speed after every race.

The 29-year-old began Rio 2016 with a time of 48.93 and shaved almost a second of it by the time he crossed the line in the final race to take fourth – he ran a personal best of 47.97.

Berlin 2018 also followed a similar pattern, with his semi-final time being identical to his time in Rio – 48.39.

Earlier, three other Team Ireland athletes took the track – Nadia Power, Louise Shanahan and Siofra Cleirigh-Butler all finished seventh in their heats in their respective events.

Power ran the Women’s 800m in heat two in a time of 2:03.04 with Shanahan getting over the line half a second slower in the succeeding heat.

Cleirigh-Butler was a second behind the pair after her run in heat four, crossing the line after 2:04.62.

All the athletes ran in very humid conditions at the new Olympic Stadium, built on the same site as the old 1964 Olympic Stadium.

The Men’s 400m Hurdles semi-finals will take place on Sunday, August 1st with the first of three starting at the later time of 1:05 pm.

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