Robert Heffernan takes fourth for Ireland in men's 50KM walk
SOME say fourth is the worst place to finish in an Olympic event, however Robert Heffernan will be delighted with his fourth place finish in the men's 50KM walk today.
Heffernan smashed the old national record in the event by 7:36, finishing in a time of 3hrs 37mins 54secs, just holding off Russia's Igor Erokhin on the line as both athletes were given the same time.
Russia's Sergey Kirdyapkin won the gold medal in an Olympic record time.
The former world champion finished in three hours, 35 minutes and 59 seconds, almost a minute clear of Australia's Jared Tallent, who took silver for the second Games in succession, with China's Si Tianfeng claiming bronze.
Si looked on course for victory when he wiped out a 20-second deficit and went clear of the field at the 35km mark, but when he faded Kirdyapkin took over at the front and was never in danger of being caught.
Italy's Alex Schwazer was unable to defend his title after being excluded from the Games following a doping violation.