Friday 19 October 2018

Strong finish puts Thomas Barr into European final while Phil Healy comes up short in 100m semi-final

7 August 2018; Thomas Barr of Ireland reacts after competing in the Men's 400mH Semi-Final during Day 1 of the 2018 European Athletics Championships at The Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 August 2018; Thomas Barr of Ireland reacts after competing in the Men's 400mH Semi-Final during Day 1 of the 2018 European Athletics Championships at The Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Thomas Barr booked his place in the European 400m hurdles final after an impressive finish saw him claim second place in tonight's semi-final in Berlin.

Barr was fourth coming into the final 100m but a strong surge saw him come in behind Turkey's Yasmani Copello, who won comfortably.

Barr's time of 49.10 is the seventh fastest across the semi-finals, but the Waterfordian will still be hopeful of taking home a medal in the final on Thursday evening.

Speaking to David Gillick on RTÉ after the race, Barr admitted that he was nervous ahead of his semi-final run.

"The aim was to come out and qualify for the final so there was a bit of pressure on me," Barr said.

"I was quite nervous beforehand, but I knew I was in good shape. I probably went a little too relaxed down the back straight and the top bend. I did leave myself a bit of work to do on the home straight, but I knew I had that strength there and I used it.

"I expected [Copello] to go quickly and I wanted to hang on his coat-tails without expending too much energy. But it got the job done and I’m in the final Thursday."

Earlier in the evening, Phil Healy failed in her attempt to qualify for the 100m final but declared herself happy with her perfomance.

The Irish sprinter, who will compete in the 200m event also, ran a time of 11.46 to finish seventh in her semi-final.

"I’m happy with the performance," she told RTÉ. "I’m looking forward to coming back out here Friday.

"A European semi-final is further than I’ve ever got before with the 100, so it’s just a confidence boost. The speed is there."

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