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Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Thomas Barr

The national record holder will be hoping that his injury problems won’t cost him in Rio.

Thomas Barr Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Event: Men’s 400m hurdles.

Who is he? Ireland’s national record holder in the 400m hurdles. The UL student was also Ireland’s Athlete of the Year in 2015 — he won gold in the World University Games and narrowly missed out on a place in the final of the World Champions in Beijing — but 2016 has been dogged by a hip injury.

Where’s he from? He lives in Limerick now but Barr is a proud Waterford man, hailing from Dunmore East and representing Ferrybank AC.

Olympic CV: Barr, who turned 24 this week, will be making his Olympic debut in Rio.

Road to Rio: Barr’s journey towards his first Olympics was going quite smoothly until he began to be troubled by a hip injury. He only returned to competitive racing last month but failed to make the final of the European Championships in Amsterdam.

When does he start? His heat is scheduled for the Olympic Stadium on Monday, 15 August.

Where can I follow him? He stays in touch with the world via both Twitter and Instagram (@TomBarr247).

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What he says: “I’ve had to change a lot this year to try and alleviate this hip problem. I’ve changed my running mechanics so I’ve had to pretty much learn how to run in a different position.” (The42, July 2016)

Medal chances? Barr’s national record of 48.65 would have been good enough for sixth in the final at London 2012, but his struggles with injury suggest that even qualifying for the final in Rio could be a long shot.

Two out of five on our scientifically-developed, patented Jerry Kiernan scale…


And here’s something you probably didn’t know… When he’s not on the track, Barr is a big fan of drift racing, as he showed us last year.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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