Robert Heffernan

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Robert Heffernan
Robert Heffernan by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Heffernan wins the World Championships of 2013 in Moscow
Personal information
Born (1978-02-28) 28 February 1978 (age 37)
Cork, Ireland
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Weight 58 kg (128 lb)
Spouse(s) Marian Heffernan
Country  Ireland
Sport Racewalking
Event(s) 20 km race walk, 50 km race walk

Robert "Rob" Heffernan (born 28 February 1978) is an Irish race walker.


At the 2000 Olympics he finished in 38th place, and at the 2004 Olympics he was disqualified, both in the 20 km race walking discipline.[1]

At the 2008 Olympic Games he improved, coming eighth in the 20km Walk. His wife Marian Andrews is also national women's 400 metres champion and was on the Irish women's team that finished 4th in the European indoors. On 27 July 2010, Heffernan won the bronze medal in the 2010 European Athletics Championships in the 20 kilometres walk, posting a time of 1:21:00 (achieved retrospectively in 2014 after Russian Stanislav Emelyanov was found to have committed an anti-doping violation).He also finished 4th in the 50km walk in a national record time of 3:45:30.This was an amazing achievement due to the fact it was just 3 days after the 20 km event.

At the 2012 Olympics, Heffernan finished ninth in the 20km race. A week later he finished fourth in the 50km, finishing seven minutes faster than the previous national record. The two performances were the top two performances for the Irish Athletics team at the 2012 Olympics.[2]

2013 World championships[edit]

On 14 August 2013, Heffernan finished first in the 2013 World Championships in Athletics 50km event in Moscow, finishing over a minute clear of the silver medal position with a winning time of 3:37:56.[3][4][5] Speaking after the race Heffernan said "Its surreal, it's just a great feeling," he said. "When I came into the stadium it just felt like an out of body experience. It's hard to take it all in at the moment. I'm delighted." [6][7] The winning time was the fastest time in the world in 2013 by more than three minutes.[8][9][10] What Robert has achieved over a 10-year period is a testament to perseverance courage combined with talent. He had to learn his profession abroad due to the lack of professionalism in the Irish amateur set up that had no professional coaches or systems for International athletes.

Performance at major championships[edit]

Representing  Ireland
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time
2000 European Race Walking Cup Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany 18th 20 km 1:22:43
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 28th 20 km 1:26:04
2001 European Race Walking Cup Dudince, Slovakia 17th 20 km 1:23:57
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 14th 20 km 1:25:02
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 8th 20 km 1:21:10
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 20 km DSQ
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 20 km DSQ
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 6th 20 km 1:23:42
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, PR China 8th 20 km 1:20:36
2009 European Race Walking Cup Metz, France 4th 20 km 1:25:21
World Championships Berlin, Germany 15th 20 km 1:22:09
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 3rd 20 km 1:21:00
4th 50 km 3:45:30
2012 Olympic Games London, England 9th 20 km 1:20:18
4th 50 km 3:37:54
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st 50 km 3:37:56


  1. ^ "Robert Heffernan at". Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "London can spur Rob to medal in Moscow, says Loughnane". Irish Examiner. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ireland's Rob Heffernan strikes gold in 50km walk". The Irish Times. 14 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rob Heffernan: It was a bonus that I destroyed everyone". Irish Independent. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "'Proud' Heffernan: We are as good as anybody". Irish Examiner/ 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Robert Heffernan wins Ireland's first world gold for 18 years in 50km walk". Guardian. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ireland's Rob Heffernan claims gold at World Track and Field Championships". The Score. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "LEESIDE LEGEND ROB GETS HIS JUST REWARD". Evening Echo. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ireland celebrate first male world champion in 30 years as Heffernan seals 50km walk". Daily Mail. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Rob Heffernan aiming for Rio after his 'Rocky' moment". Irish Independent. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 

External links[edit]