Thomas Barr flat out the best 400m runner in Athlone

Waterford athlete times finish to perfection to beat Victor-Ricardo Dos Santos

It was left to Thomas Barr to produce the most unexpected and nonetheless brilliant Irish victory at the Athlone IT International Indoor meeting on Wednesday night as the Waterford athlete timed his finish to absolute perfection.

Despite the absence of any hurdles, given the 400m hurdles is not an indoor event, Barr looked perfectly comfortable on the flat, beating 400-metre specialist Victor-Ricardo Dos Santos from Portugal into second place.

Barr took out the first lap, was passed by Dos Santos down the backstretch, but came again around the final bend, finishing out in lane four. Dos Santos has run 47.14 indoors this season, but had no response to the fast-finishing Barr, who clocked an excellent 46.94, just off his indoor best.

Barr’s attention now switches to the outdoor season, the highlight being the European Championships in Berlin in August, where this early-season form suggests he’s coming back into sort of shape that saw him finish fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics over the 400m hurdles.

Earlier Kevin Lopez of Spain won the 800m in 1.47:43, denying Mark English another Irish victory, as he came in second in 1:47.48.