About Thomas Barr
Thomas is from Dunmore East in Waterford where he attended Killea boys primary school and De la Salle school, Waterford. Barr is the younger brother of Irish Olympic track athlete Jessie Barr (4x400m relay London 2012) they also share a birthdate – July 24. He also has a sister Becky and his parents are Tommy and Martina Barr.
Growing up in the coastal town of Dunmore East, with a mum from ‘The Hook’ and a dad from Passage, Thomas was a typical seaside water-baby and he continues his passion for the water today with wake-jumping and water skiing.
He also enjoys snowboarding and the buzz it gives him and that it allows him to switch off from athletics. He also loves working on his modified car and taking it for a spin at the Tannery Drifters Club in Waterford.
From a young age Thomas was interested in the world around him and how things worked preferring to figure things out independently than follow the instructions. Qualified with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Masters Degree in Sports Performance both from the University of Limerick (UL). Thomas continues to have his training base in UL with his coaches Hayley and Drew Harrison.
As a kid Thomas (with very obliging parents) tried out lots of sports from soccer, to rugby and GAA. He joined his athletics club Ferrybank with his friends and really enjoyed it because of that social aspect rather the competitive side of sports. Even within athletics he tried out loads of disciplines before I settled on the 400m hurdles. It wasn’t until he was 19 that I specialised, before that it was high jump and he was still playing rugby right up to than too.
When he went to the University of Limerick to study engineering, husband and wife Hayley and Drew Harrison, already coaching Thomas’s sister Jessie there, met a tall, bubbly kid who seemed to have a preference, and real talent, for high jump.
Fortunately, Hayley could spot and harness his pure, raw talent. Barr’s best time in 2010 when joining the training group was 56.47 seconds. By the Summer of 2011 Thomas had qualified for the European Junior Championships in Tallinn and he finished sixth in the final. And so began the journey….
- 2017: Won his seventh national title and finished 3rd in the Diamond League in Oslo in 48.95. | Had to withdrawn from the semi-final of the IAAF World Athletics Championships due to illness which hit many athletes at the championship.
- 2016: Olympic Games 4th in a new Irish Record of 47.97, in a time that would have won him a medal in the previous three Games| Set a new Irish record winning the semi-final in 48.39.
- 2015: World University Champion |National Athlete of the Year | Named European Athlete of the Month for May | Set New Irish 400m hurdles record of 48.65 seconds at the Rome Diamond League | Set a new Irish Championship Record of 49.68
- 2014 European Senior Athletics Championships Zurich 400m Hurdles Semi-Finalist | Beat reigning World Champion Jehue Gordon at the Morton Games Meet | Set New Irish Record U23 and Senior Record of 48.90
- 2013 European U23 Track and Field Championships Italy 400m Hurdles 8th. | Set New Irish U23 record of 49.78.
2012 European Track and Field Championships Helsinki 400m Hurdles Semi-Finalist
- 2011 European Junior Track and Field Championships, Estonia 400m Hurdles 6th Place | Set New Irish Junior Record of 50.06 at the National Senior Track and Field Championships to win his first national title