Thomas Barr arrived back in Dublin to a hero’s welcome on Monday afternoon following his bronze medal winning run in last Thursday’s European Championship 400 metres Hurdles Final in Berlin. The 26-year-old, who ran the second fastest time of his career to take his first senior international Championship medal, was greeted at Dublin Airport by parents Tom (Senior) and Martina, along with club mates from Ferrybank AC.
And in claiming his medal, Tom became the first male Irish athlete to win an outdoor sprint medal at elite Championship level.
“This is an unbelievable feeling,” said Tom in the wake of last Thursday’s Final, after he powered past France’s Ludvy Vaillant to seal a podium place.
“I felt so relaxed beforehand and knew it would take something close to my personal best for me to get a medal and so it proved. I’m thrilled. I knew I had that time in me but it just had not come to fruition this year. It did here, though. Earlier in the day, I felt really nervous but as the day went on, I felt so much more relaxed. The Irish support out here just blew me away and it made a difference. I am so grateful to everyone who was here in the stadium.”
In his congratulatory message, Sports Minister Shane Ross stated: “Once again Thomas has produced a marvellous run when it matters most, it is a magnificent achievement and a well-deserved medal to show for his continued hard work and dedication. Thomas displays such wonderful character – he excites the nation on the big stage and represents us so well. We wish him the best as we look ahead to Tokyo.”