"A time like that from lane one is a little bit more special": Thomas Barr

Barr finished third in the 400m final at the Diamond League meeting in a season's best time

BY Sinéad Farrell 09:00 Friday 16 June 2017, 9:00 16 Jun 2017

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland's Thomas Barr says he's thrilled with the performance that delivered him a third-place finish in the 400m final at the Diamond League in Oslo.

Barr completed the race in a season's best time of just under 49 seconds from lane one, with Norway's Karsten Warholm coming home in first place.

Speaking to Oisin Langan of Newstalk Sport, Barr said that running this time helps take the pressure off him as he continues his preparation for the World Championships in London later in the summer. 

"Basically what I've done is taken the pressure off myself going forward in the season. 49.35 was the standard for world championship qualification in August.

"I've just dipped under that. I knew it was going to come sooner rather than later after running 49.00 in Geneva last weekend but it's nice just to have it in the bag and not worry about chasing times now for the remainder of the season.

He added:

"I can go into each race and just pick off little bits and work on little bits of the race that I need to, rather than worry about improving vastly over the whole race.

"The plan will remain the same. I have European team championships in Finland next weekend and a couple more competitions then through July. I'll have a couple of weeks of training then before the World Championships in August."

Barr conceded that while the more central lanes are the preference of most athletes, he was happy to run the race from lane one and was encouraged to discover that he still has more to give in future races.

"Lane one is very tight, so trying to build up speed and maintain speed, especially over hurdles on a tight bend can be quite difficult.

"A time like that from lane one is a little bit more special than say from an outer lane.

"It didn't faze me, I'm after running in nearly every lane at this stage but I know I can run faster from a preferred lane."

The Waterford native, who finished fourth in the Olympic final of the 400m last year, is enjoying an injury-free season so far. He endured some problems with his hip last year in advance of the Rio Games, but his team have resolved that issue this year, which allows him to focus on his performance.

"I was thinking last year that I'd be lucky to get to the start line of the Olympics whereas now we can actually focus on perfecting parts of the race and getting faster rather than trying to cram in a load of fitness work or speed work and technical work.

"What you want as an athletes is to be able to train away all Winter and go out at the business end of the year and showcase what you've done."

"Staying fit and healthy is one of the biggest challenges any athlete faces especially when you get close to competition season," he concluded.

Listen to the full interview here:

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week