Thomas Barr eased through to the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles after winning his heat at the European Championships in Munich.

Drawn on the inside lane, Barr raced clear of the field in the opening half of the race, first over the hurdles throughout and maintained that clear advantage through to the final bend.

The Waterford man, who famously finished fourth at the Rio Olympics in 2016, was pushed all the way down the home straight by the Netherlands athlete, Ramsey Angela, inside him, but despite a slight stride correction on the final hurdle, Barr used his quick finish to take it on the line.

Thomas Barr edged out Ramsey Angela of the Netherlands at the line

Barr's time of 49.49secs was the fourth fastest of the four morning heats with the semi-finals set to take place on Thursday morning. France's Victor Coroller clocked the quickest time of 49.35secs to win the opening heat.

"It was a lot faster than I thought it was going to have to be to get through,"said Barr, speaking to RTE Sport after the race.

"But not a bad thing, because what I wanted to do was get out real relaxed, real easy in the first half and then judge it from there.

"I got past the Dutch guy on my inside by hurdle five or six easily enough so I thought I could ease off the gas a little, but he started to come back at me on the home straight.

"So I had to work a little bit harder down the home straight than I would have liked, but I got the job done, first place, and hopefully a good lane for tomorrow."

And going into the semi-finals Barr believes that he is in a better place than he was at this summer's world championships in America, feeling like his rhythm is where he wants it to be ahead of the crucial stages of the championships.

But Barr is also wary of the fact that the top seeded athletes will come in a little bit fresher, having received a bye into the semi-finals in Munich.

"I didn’t touch a hurdle, which is always a good sign…so it’s good that I’m coming out from what looked like having a very good, tidy race, but there is still areas I can work in, instead of coming out saying, I have a lot to do for tomorrow.

"I felt good and felt the gears and the rhythm coming back in training over the last few days, so yeah, I’m where I need to be, I suppose.

"I feel good and a lot more confident now than I did this time in Oregon. I know the faster rhythm over the hurdles and with the sprinting is there, where as in Oregon, I had to force it.

"It’s going to be a faster race, so I feel like I have to go for it. You never know which way a race is going to go, you can overcook it, undercook it, but I’m hoping I get it just right."

Rhasidat Adeleke races in the 400m final at 9.22pm tonight, while heptathlon hopeful Kate O'Connor had to with withdraw from the event in Munich due to injury.