Thomas Barr just pipped for podium finish in Rome

Irish hurdler’s time of 49.65 seconds just short of his season’s best

Thomas Barr finished fourth at the Golden League meeting in Rome on Thursday night. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Thomas Barr finished just short of another podium spot at the IAAF Diamond League, coming home fourth over the 400 metres hurdles inside Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

Barr’s time of 49.65 seconds also fell short of the season best of 49.41 clocked when finishing third at the Shanghai Diamond League last month. He also finished third in Stockholm last Thursday, all while earning valuable points towards the IAAF Diamond League final later this year.

Victory on the night went to the top American Rai Benjamin, who ran 47.58, his fastest time of 2019, and the second best time this year, with countryman David Kendziara second in 49.99. Japan’s Takatoshi Abe just got the better of Barr in third, running 49.57.

“I’m still where I need to be, consistently racing and producing performances against the world’s best 400m hurdlers,” said Barr, the main goal of the season still being some way off at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, set for September 27th to October 6th.


European outdoor bronze medallist from Berlin last summer, where he ran 48.31 seconds, Barr hasn’t yet hit those times this season. That time was also being his second fastest after the 47.97 he ran when he finished fourth at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics