Thomas Barr is into the semi-finals of the men’s 400 metre hurdles after a composed performance in his heat at Rio Olympics on Monday.
The Waterford man knew a place in the top three finish would guarantee him automatic qualification. Barr finished second in his heat with a time of 48.93 seconds. The results was a season’s best for Barr and just over a quarter of a second outside the Irish record. The comfortable nature of his run suggests that the national best will be in his sights come Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Barr, occupied lane three, made a steady start to the race, before bypassing those outside him, which were Britain’s Sebastian Roger and Jamaica’s Jameel Hyde. Entering the final 100 metres it appeared Barr was in a shootout for third but a strong surge saw the Irishman pull into second behind the clear winner Keisuke Nozawa of Japan.
Barr will now go into tuesdays semi-final on a high, where he will be expecting to reach the final as well as breaking the Irish record.