Monday 18 December 2017

'I had an ice bath and was shivering half an hour later' - Thomas Barr reveals 'rotten' night with gastroenteritis

Thomas Barr of Ireland
Thomas Barr of Ireland Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland athletics star Thomas Barr has revealed how he awoke at 2am on the morning of his 400m hurdles semi-final with a crippling bout of gastroenteritis.

Barr was forced to withdraw from the marquee race after becoming one of the many athletes struck down with the norovirus, scuppering his attempt to better his sensational fourth place finish in last summer's Olympic final.

Speaking to Kathryn Thomas on The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTE Radio One this afternoon, Barr went through the sequence of events that led to him pulling out of the race, including how in retrospect he was showing symptoms of being unwell on the day of the heats.

"I was vomiting at 2am, I had run on Sunday morning and I didn't get symptoms until 2am that night," Barr said.

"It was strange. It was only when I was looking back on it and talking to my parents and my coach, it didn't look like me out on the track [during the heats]. I didn't feel any different but the more I was talking about it, I went for an ice bath afterwards and was still shivering half an hour later which wouldn't be like me.

"I met up with my family later and my granny was there, and she is a nurse, and my mum is a nurse, and they said I didn't look myself. I kept yawning and I was very tired and I thought it was just early mornings as I had been getting up early. It was only when I got up at 2am when I knew there was something wrong because I started vomiting. Every couple of hours I was having to get up, it was a rotten enough night."

Barr would have received huge support at London's Olympic Stadium for the 400m semi-final, which he wishes he could have experienced.

"When I was in the stadium for the heats and my name was announced, I had never heard such a loud cheer for that," he said.

"It was an amazing experience and I know there was going to be even more Irish people in the stadium for the semi-final and the final if I had made it that far.

Barr was forced to stay quarantined during his illness to minimise the risk to other athletes, but thankfully he has now been released.

"I've finally gotten out of my cage! They released me this morning."

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