'Tears of joy' - Fellow Olympians and Irish sport stars laud Thomas Barr for heroic fourth
Thomas Barr has missed a medal in the 400m hurdles final missing fourth. He missed the bronze medal by five hundreds of a second as his brilliant finish just fell short of a podium finish.
But the qualify of his performance is underlined by the fact that Barr smashed his own national record dipping under 48 second with a brilliant 47.97 but unfortunately the European title holder from Turkey Yasmani Copello just dipped ahead of him to take third in 47.92
The title was won by the veteran American Kerron Clement.
Watched by his parents, Barr was bidding to become the first Irish male athlete to win a track medal in 60 years. Though he missed the bronze it has been an astonishing Olympics for the 24-year-old who missed a huge chunk of the season through injury
Wearing his customary shades, Barr looked relaxed before the biggest race of his career. A gold medallist at last year's World University Games, he knows how to win and even though it was an Olympic final there was no pressure on him.
He had succeeded his own expectations by making the final.
But he will surely built on this performance and has the ability to be a big star in track and field in the years ahead.
There was a false start to the final with Javiier Culston from Puerto Rico disqualified reducing the field to seven.
Barr, who lives in Limerick, caused a sensation in the semi-final in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he won after a fantastic final 100 metres to secure a place in lane 4 for today's final.
The look of astonishment on his face when he crossed the finish line told his own story as he set a new Irish record of 48.39 which left his with the third fastest seasonal personal best going into the final.
Fellow Olympians and top Irish sport stars have taken to social media to congratulate Barr on his heroic run:
New Irish record for Thomas Barr - great effort - first Irish athlete in an Olympic 400m hurdles final in over 80yrs is a great achievement.— Enda Kenny (@EndaKennyTD) August 18, 2016
Amazing from Thomas Barr! He's done Ireland proud. That time in the last 3 Olympics would've got him silver/bronze. pic.twitter.com/JJzuKKu1pB— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) August 18, 2016
Tricolours everywhere! Whatever happens from here, you've been an inspiration to us all, Tom! Tune in right now to watch his Olympic final!— Mark English (@markenglish_) August 18, 2016