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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018

'I was sitting in my bedroom thinking, "Come on, let me at them, let me go"'

Thomas Barr ran the second-fastest time of his career to take bronze in Berlin.

Thomas Barr celebrates winning bronze Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THOMAS BARR STRUGGLED to find words that could do justice to his emotions after winning a brilliant bronze in the 400m hurdles at the European Championships.

The Waterford native finished strongly in lane eight, bursting into a smile and a leap as he crossed the line third in a time of 48.31, the second-fastest time of his career.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” he told RTÉ after winning his first major championship medal.

“I felt so relaxed beforehand and I knew it would take close to my personal best so I’m just so glad I pulled it out on the day. Unbelievable. I can’t explain it.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d gotten third but a quick look across settled that debate for me.”

With a large Irish support behind him in Berlin, Barr looked calm and relaxed as he made his way down to the start line.

World champion Karsten Warholm quickly moved up on his shoulder as he set a blistering early pace on his way to winning gold in a personal best of 47.64 but Barr never panicked, chasing home the Norwegian and Turkey’s Yasmani Copello into the medals.

“I knew it was going to take 48-low to get anywhere near the medals and myself and Hayley [Harrison, coach] knew that I had it in me,” the 26-year-old said. “It just hadn’t come to fruition right when we wanted it. Well, it came together just at the right time.

“Early in the day, I felt really nervous but as the day went on, I got more and more relaxed. I was sitting in my bedroom thinking, ‘Come on, let me at them, let me go.’

“That’s exactly how I was in Rio. That’s when I run my best, when I’m relaxed, happy to be here.

“The amount of Irish flags I was getting. I could hear my name being called all over the stadium as I was walking down the home straight. It’s absolutely amazing.”

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Niall Kelly

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