Gold for Irish walker Robert Heffernan

It has been an amazing morning for Irish Athletics with Robert Heffernan taking the Gold medal in the 50kn walk at the World Championships.

After finishing just outside the medals on four occasions at major championships, Heffernan looked to be Ireland’s leading medal hope in Moscow and the Cork native did not let down his supporters.

Heffernan was always in the leading group (8th-5km) – (5th-10k) – (7th-15km) – (2nd-25km) – (1st-40km) and looked solid for a medal.

After 35km there were five runners in with a chance, but this dropped to three after 40km with Heffernan, Mikhail Ryzhov and Jared Tallent fighting out the last ten kilometers for the gold medal.

Heffernan broke about twenty metres ahead after 42km with one red card and took a clear lead after 44km with his main danger Mikhail Ryzhov just ahead of Jared Tallent.  Second warning after 45km left his gold in danger but fortuitously for ecstatic Irish supporters Robbie walked the perfect last 5km to win his gold medal.

He is only the third Irish athlete to win a Gold medal at a World athletics championships, he joined Sonia O’Sullivan and Eamonn Coughlin by collecting gold.


  1. Congratulations Robert Heffernan. Absolutely terrific performance. Historical brilliance achieved, in what is one of the most demanding of endurance sports. Monumental achievement. Very well deserved victory. Your talent, dedication, years of commitment and perseverance, are truly inspiring. You have delivered the greatest victory of your career. Outstanding.


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