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Carr Zone: Rob Heffernan to get medal he was denied


Rob Heffernan

Rob Heffernan

Rob Heffernan

Cork race walker Rob Heffernan tailored his preparations for the 2012 Olympics perfectly.

In the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona, Rob had finished 4th in both the 20km and the 50km.

On a hot day in London, despite a sensational performance in the 50km race, Rob finished 4th, just outside the medals. T

here was a suspicion that the Irishman was being denied a medal place in some events by doping. "I've always performed," he says. "But if you don't have a medal, nobody cares."

In last year's World Championships the Corkman finally won gold in the 50km. Now, with Russian walker Stanislav Emelyanov receiving a drugs ban, Heffernan will receive the bronze medal he was cheated out of in the 2010 European Championship. The presentation ceremony will take place in Cork City Hall at 6pm on Friday. "It's mind-blowing," says Heffernan. "It justifies my whole career."

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Despite Louis Van Gaal's rebuilding programme at Old Trafford, Manchester United has yet to recover its status as the most valuable sports club in the world. After last season's poor form the club slipped to third place in Forbes list of Most Valuable Teams, behind Real Madrid (€2.7 billion) and Barcelona (€2.5 billion).

Recent valuations by Forbes show that NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, who've experienced a 39% growth increase this year, are the most valuable sports team in the US.

Worth €2.6 billion, the Cowboys are now a more lucrative franchise than Manchester United (€2.3 billion). A detail that won't be lost on the Glazer family, who control the Red Devils.

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Martyn Irvine, who became the first Irishman in 116 years to win a Cycling World Championship medal when he lifted gold in Belarus early last year, is currently putting in "hours of torture" training in Mallorca with his focus on regaining full fitness following surgery last month for a collarbone break.

Irvine has the Rio Olympics in his sights. "I'm hungry for new silverwear," he says.

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Anthony Fitzgerald was happy to see Andy Lee lift the WBO world middleweight title with a 6th round knock-out on Saturday.

Fitzgerald, who took Lee ten rounds before losing on points, when the pair met in Belfast last year, had a generous bet on the Limerickman to win. "I knew he had the tools to win," says the Dubliner. "I'm thrilled for him. But, with our fight having been so close, I'd love another shot at Andy."