Well done to Ireland’s Rob Heffernan, who won gold in the 50km walk at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow today.
Heffernan’s victory makes up for his near misses in previous championships – fourth at last year’s Olympics and also in both the 20km and 50km races at the 2010 European Championships.
In this respect the Corkman’s win resembles that of Ireland’s two previous gold medallists at the Worlds. Eamonn Coghlan’s 5,000 metres victory in 1983, exactly 30 years to the day before Heffernan’s success, followed his two Olympic fourth-place finishes, while Sonia O’Sullivan also had two fourths (at the 1992 Olympics and 1993 Worlds) before winning her first major title, also at 5,000 metres, in 1995.
Both Coghlan and O’Sullivan, though, had already won a championship silver each, while today’s gold is Heffernan’s first major international championship medal.
Today’s win by Heffernan means that Ireland’s last three medals at the World Athletics Championships have all been in the walk – the previous two were the 20km silvers by Gillian O’Sullivan in 2003 and Olive Loughnane in 2009.
Enjoy the closing stages of today’s race, as Heffernan walks to World glory:
Video: YouTube/IAAF World Championship Moscow 2013