Team Ireland Race Walker David Kenny Achieves Top-30 Finish

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Team Ireland racewalker David Kenny has finished 29th in the Men’s 20km Walk event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Thursday morning.

Kenny crossed the line in a time of 1:26.54 to seal an impressive Olympic debut in the Japanese capital city.

The racewalker finished one second ahead of his closest opponent, Jose Oswaldo Calel of Guatemala, and was under six minutes behind the winner, Italian Massimo Stano.

The 22-year-old’s result comes less than a month after he picked up silver at the European U-23 Championships.

Kenny finished that race with a time of 1:25.50 to earn the silver medal in Tallinn at the beginning of July.

The Kerryman is also a two-time national champion in the sport, following in the footsteps of his coach, world champion and Team Ireland Olympic bronze medalist Rob Heffernan.

The Olympians have put similar times at the same age and the five-time Olympian also earned a late-twenties finish in his first Olympic Games in Sydney.

Heffernan has gone on record to say that the rising star in race walking is “better than [he] was at that age.”

The Farranfore-Maine Valley athlete has added to an already fantastic season and is expected to move up the world rankings, where he currently resides in 92nd.

To add to his silver medal in Tallinn and the impressive Olympic debut, Kenny has achieved his personal best in the 20km race walk this year.

A strong performance in Dudince, Slovakia in the middle of March saw David Kenny clock a time of 1:23.06.

His selection for the Olympics complimented the achievements he has managed in his career so far and the performance only does so further.

The man who got him into racewalking, Michael O’Connor, was impressed with his performance and gave his thoughts to Radio Kerry.

“Given the conditions, he put up a mighty performance altogether,” O’Connor exclaimed. “A British fella there, Tom Bosworth, he’d be the white hope really of the British – he was 25th, David was 29th – and he was really expected to do pretty well.

“And I think that puts it into context for a young fella. There was seven of them around 22 years of age…it was a mighty performance altogether.”

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