"Fourth is probably the worst and the best place to come" - Mixed emotions after sensational final for Thomas Barr

Barr finished his final of the 400m hurldes in a National Record time of 47.97

Thomas Barr

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy 

Thomas Barr experienced mixed emotions after his 400m hurdle final this afternoon, where he finished agonizingly short of a medal position.

Barr set a new national record of 47.97 seconds to secure fourth, just 0.05 seconds from a medal position.

Speaking after the race, he was asked what was going through his head after such a spectacular run fell just short. 

"Fourth is probably the worst and the best place to come, outside of medals and especially when I was so close in the home straight and I was in contention," he said. 

"I didn't execute the absolutely perfect race but I left everything on the track and I come home with a personal best. I'm absolutely thrilled with that.  47 [seconds, finishing time] has really put me on the map now. 

"I was so so close, 0.05 of a second off the man over there, [Yasmani] Copello. I thought even maybe I could have sneaked it on the line. I wasn't sure of it but you never know what can happen in the dip.

"Fourth place in an Olympic Games. I was coming into this with really haphazard preparation, it's an absolutely astonishing feat."

However, he did recognize just how remarkable the run was and took a moment to thank is team who helped him reach such wonderful heights.

"I have to thank first off my coaches Hayley and Drew [Harrison] back home. Hayley wrote the programme for me and in the last six weeks got me ready for not one good race, but three good races back-to-back. She's a genius!

"She's been a genius when it came to writing the programme to get me through and it's a real pity she can't be out here with us. I also want to thank my physio Emma Galvin."

When told by a reporter that the time would have earned him silver in the London 2012 Olympics and was the fifth highest fourth place finish in any Olympic Games he replied: 

"Typical isn't it? The one time I'm on the ball and in a final. I knew it would take a 47 to get into the medals. Last year it was a 47 in the World Champs that took gold.

"To be honest I didn't even feel like it was a 47. It felt good, it felt easy, like I had messed up one or two little bits on the top end. There was probably even more there. Pity it didn't come out because it could have in a completely different scenario."