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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

London Olympian Barr calls time on athletics career after injury frustration

The Waterford hurdler has hung up her spikes having accepted competing at Tokyo 2020 is no longer a possibility.

Barr made the announcement today.
Barr made the announcement today.
Image: Ian MacNicol

JESSIE BARR HAS officially drawn the curtain on her athletics career after her bid to rebound from a series of injury setbacks to compete at the Tokyo Olympics only led to further frustration. 

Barr, the older sister of European bronze medallist Thomas, represented Ireland in the 4x400m relay at the 2012 Games in London and reached the final of the 400-metre hurdles at the European Championships in Helsinki that same year. 

The Waterford native’s career hit a number of roadblocks in the three years since London and despite retaining hope of competing again, with the target of Tokyo 2020 at the forefront of her mind, Barr made the decision to retire at the start of this year.

“I didn’t wake up one day and retire. This has been a slow realisation, and I suppose I’ve had three years to come to terms with it,” she said. 

She will turn 30 next month and having taken up an internship as a sports psychologist at the Institute of Sport in 2017, is now employed full-time and will travel to Minsk tomorrow for the European Games.

Barr was speaking at the launch of the Irish Life Health Festival of Running on Monday afternoon. The festival, which included a Mile Fun Run for children and a 3km run in Santry Park, takes place at Morton Stadium on 28 July. More details and entry on 

You can read a full interview with Jessie Barr on The42 later this week. 

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Ryan Bailey

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