Ferrybank’s Thomas Barr has become the first Irish athlete since Bob Tisdall in 1932 to make an Olympic sprint final after a brilliant performance to win his 400m Hurdles semi-final in a new national record of 48.39 seconds.
“I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m delighted,” said a delighted Barr afterwards. “I went in really relaxed and I was able to track Karsten Warholm (Norway) on my outside. I know I’ve a really good finish. I’m not being cocky. I was smiling coming over that last hurdle.”
The University of Limerick student was in fourth place coming into the home straight but produced a sizzling finish to win his semi and go into the final as the third fastest qualifier.
“Anything is possible now,” he said. “I want to thank my coach Haley Harrison and Emma Gallivan (Athletics Ireland/Sport Ireland physio) for all the physio and pushing me on. I’ll rest up now and get ready for the final.”
The “wide open” men’s 400m hurdles final takes place on Thursday at 4pm Irish time, with Barr drawn in lane 4. In 1932, Bob Tisdall ran in the 400m Hurdles, and won gold – the same day as Dr. Pat O’Callaghan won gold in the hammer.