Thomas Barr clinches 400m hurdles gold at World University Games

Thomas Barr
Thomas Barr improved his Irish 400m hurdles record to 48.65 seconds last month

Irish athlete Thomas Barr has won the 400 metres hurdles gold medal at the World University Games in Korea while swimmer Fiona Doyle has picked up the silver in the women's 50m breaststroke.

Waterford man Barr, 22, ran one of the fastest times of his career as he took victory in 48.78 seconds in Gwangju.

That left him .24 of a second ahead of Algerian Abdelmalik Lahoulou.

Doyle, 23, won 100m breaststroke bronze at the Games on Sunday and picked up the 50m silver with a 31.09 clocking.

Ukrainian Mariia Liver took victory in 30.73 seconds with Limerick-born Doyle pipping Italian Martina Carraro (31.11) for the silver.

Hurdler Barr set a new Irish record of 48.90 last season and improved his national mark to 48.65 in Rome last month.

The Waterford man clocked 49.75 in his semi-final in South Korea on Thursday after a 49.96 heat win on Wednesday.

Algerian Lahoulou battled with Barr throughout Friday's final but the Irishman pulled clear after the final hurdle to take a comprehensive victory with Russia's Ivan Shablyuev third in 49.04.

Sonia O'Sullivan, Ronnie Delany and Niall Bruton are the only previous Irish track and field athletes to have won World University Games gold medals.

Kilkenny athlete Ciara Everard finished a battling sixth in the women's 800m final in 2:02.46 while John Travers was ninth in the men's 1500m final in 3:42.63.

Meanwhile, Letterkenny man Mark English and his Irish team-mate Karl Griffin both progressed to the 800m semi-finals at the European Under-23 Championships in Tallinn.

English has struggled for form so far this summer and he had to battle in the home straight to finish second in his slow heat in 1:52.97.

UCD student Griffin enjoyed a more comfortable qualification as he placed second in his first-round outing in 1:49.64.

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