Paul Byrne

In the first in our series of Meet the Athlete, Irish 400m hurdler Paul Bryne is in the hotseat, and has been chatting to James Sullivan. Byrne represented Ireland at the 2011 European Under 23 Championships, and currently stands at number 4 on the Irish all-time list for the event, with a best clocking of 50.72, and has this year’s European Championships in Amsterdam firmly in his sights. Here’s some things you perhaps did not know about the 26 year old.

If you could live in any other country, which would you choose?

Belgium. They know how to put on a good track meet and have waffles which is all I want in life.

Beer or wine?

Milk. I’m an athlete, I don’t drink.

Most interesting place you have visited as an athlete?

South Africa without a shadow of a doubt. Sun year round, breath-taking scenery, great food and even better training venues. What more could you want?

Paul Byrne

Paul Byrne

Most boring place you have visited as an athlete?

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 17-hour layover. Need I say any more?

Favourite Simpson’s character?

An obscure one here but, Hans Moleman. He just can’t catch a break.

If a movie was to be made about your life, which actor would you want to portray you?

Channing Tatum. Closest match to my body type so it’s an obvious one really.

Most bizarre thing that has happened to you at an athletics meet?

Running a race about 5 years ago in Ireland where two full sets of hurdles were missing down the back straight. We were in our blocks ready to run before it was noticed. Wouldn’t have minded if it went unnoticed to see what I would have run!

If you could be one animal for a day, which would you be, and why?

Koala. I’m already not far off the amount they sleep per day so I’d adapt seamlessly.

What is the craziest thing you have done in a bid to reach your athletic potential?

Taking up the 400m Hurdles by choice!  Have to be a bit crazy to pick the hardest event coming from a high jump/multi event background. Thankfully it has worked out OK so far!

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who leave hurdles out on the track and don’t put them away when they’re finished. Grinds my gears. You know who you are!

If you could invite three famous people out to join you for dinner, who would you choose and why?

Ed Moses (all round 400 hurdles beast), David Attenborough (just because I’d listen to him ramble on for hours) and Emily Ratajkowski (obvious reasons).

Most interesting thing you’ve heard or come across in a pre-race call room?

Once shared a call room with a guy who got sick Willie Beamen (Any Given Sunday) style about 3 times into a bin before the race. Knew I had the beatings of him at least.

You get to spend one training session with any athlete of your choosing. Who do you pick?

If Bob Tisdall (Irish 400m Hurdles Olympic Champ) was knocking around today I’d love to share a (track) session with him.

If you were the Taoiseach of Ireland you would……..

Ban GAA (controversial!) and put a running track in every community in the country. It would solve the obesity problem and make us good at a sport on an international level in one fell swoop.


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