• World Championships 2013

Heffernan gives Ireland first gold in 18 years

ESPN staff
August 14, 2013
Rob Heffernan celebrates ending Ireland's 18-year wait © AP

Rob Heffernan gave Ireland their first World Athletics Championships gold in 18 years when he won the 50km walk at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow.

"It's hard to take it all in at the moment. I'm delighted," he said. "I wanted to go to Moscow and take on the Russians in Moscow and that's what I did. I'm very proud that an Irish man can come to Russia and beat them in walking. It's surreal, it's just a great feeling."

Heffernan, 35, beat the local challenge of Mikhail Ryzhov to secure the country's first gold since Sonia O'Sullivan in 1995. He ran a well-paced race and was not seriously challenged once he pulled clear at the 40km mark.

The biggest threat came when he was issued with a second yellow card in the closing kilometres leaving him facing disqualification for another caution.

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