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Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Athletics: Ireland's Heffernan wins world walk title at 35

Heffernan came fourth in the 2012 Olympic 50km

Reuters, Wednesday 14 Aug 2013
Robert Heffernan
MCW639 - Heffernan of Ireland celebrates winning the men's 50 km race walk final with his wife Marian during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow (Photo: Reuters)
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Ireland's Robert Heffernan won the world championship 50km walk title on Wednesday as the 35-year-old finally tasted glory after 13 years of heartbreak and near-misses.

 Heffernan, fourth in the 2012 Olympic 50km and fourth in both walks at last year's European championships, broke clear of Mikhail Ryzhov after 35km to deny Russia a clean sweep of the walks after they took gold in both 20km events earlier in the week.

The Irishman, who withdrew before the 2011 race after his mother died suddenly, piled on the pressure in the latter stages, opening a 25-second gap going into the last 5km as the temperature rose following a cool start to the day and triumphed in three hours, 37. 56 minutes, the fastest time of the year.

 Ryzhov took silver more than a minute behind while double Olympic silver medallist Jared Talent won bronze for Australia.

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