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Friday 22 November 2019

Loughnane set to be top of world with 20km gold upgrade

Ireland's Olive Loughnane says she 'was always particularly proud of my performance' in the 2009 world 20km final in Berlin. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Olive Loughnane says she 'was always particularly proud of my performance' in the 2009 world 20km final in Berlin. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Cliona Foley

Galway race walker Olive Loughnane is expected to be upgraded retrospectively to become the 2009 world 20km champion.

Russia's Olga Kaniskina, who won three world 20km titles and Olympic gold and silver between 2007-2012, is among the latest batch of five high-profile Russian walkers who have been banned for blood passport irregularities.

Kaniskina is set to be stripped of two world titles, including the 2009 world title from Berlin, where she finished 50 seconds ahead of Loughnane.

"I heard rumours last August but nothing came of it until now," Loughnane said. "I don't expect there will be any confirmation about the medal for some time but it is great news. I was always particularly proud of my performance that day."

The London Olympics 50km champion Sergey Kirdyapkin is also among those suspended, and Cork's Rob Heffernan was fourth that day.

Kirdyapkin's results were, unusually, voided for three periods: July/September 2009, June/August 2010 and December 2011 to June 11, 2012.

The Olympic final was August 11 so he remains champion but the IAAF, as usual, will review all suspensions.

Irish Independent

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