Saturday 10 December 2016

Heffernan struggles in opener

Cathal Dennehy

Published 09/05/2016 | 02:30

Rob Heffernan finished in a disappointing 68th place in the 20km race at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Rob Heffernan finished in a disappointing 68th place in the 20km race at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Rob Heffernan endured a disappointing start to his summer campaign when finishing 68th in the 20km race at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome.

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Despite struggling with illness, the former 50km world champion mixed it with the leaders through the opening 5km, but soon began to slip back through the field approaching the halfway point.

The first Irishman home was Leevale's Alex Wright, who finished 55th in 1:24.46, while 50km specialist Brendan Boyce followed him home in 63rd (1:25.38). Next in for the Irish was Heffernan, 68th in 1:26:48, with Cian McManamon 71st in 1:27.26.

Back at home, there was better news for another elder statesman, David Gillick, who launched himself into the reckoning for Olympic 4x400m selection when running 47.24 at the Belfast International on Saturday. The 32-year-old finished second to England's Theo Campbell (46.24), and came home marginally in front of fellow Irishman Timmy Crowe, who was third in 47.37.

Elsewhere, Leevale's Claire McCarthy took her final shot at Olympic qualification at the Prague Marathon yesterday, and though her time was inside the qualifying standard of 2:45:00, it is unlikely to see her gain selection for Rio.

Irish Independent

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