Thomas Barr earns recognition with Irish athlete of the Year gong

He came so close to an Olympic medal

Thomas Barr, Rio 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Thomas Barr has been named Irish Athlete of the Year for 2016.

It's recognition of the 400 metre hurdler's excellent performance at the Rio Olympics.

The Waterford athlete agonisingly missed out on a medal in the final of the 400 metre hurdles at this year's Games.

Finishing fourth in the final, he was edged out of the bronze medal position by just 0.05 seconds.

Barr's time of 47.97 seconds was an Irish record for the 400 metre hurdles and also broke a national record he had set in the semi-finals.

That memorable summer has earned him the Irish Life Health Athlete of the Year prize and Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.

Other winners are Cork race walker Rob Heffernan, who has been named Endurance Athlete of the Year.

The Hall of Fame award went to former middle distance runner Marcus O'Sullivan. 

The Women’s Senior Team for the European Cross Country Championships has won Team of the Year.