Heffernan at the World Championships in 2009.
February 28, 1978 |
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||58 kg (128 lb)|
|Event(s)||20 km race walk, 50 km race walk|
He competed at the 2008 Olympic Games, 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 finished fourth in the 20 km walk, in a time of 1:21:00 (only 11 seconds away from a bronze medal). 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.
2013 World Championships
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. 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."  The winning time was the fastest time in the world in 2013 by more than three minutes. 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
|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||4th||20 km||1:21:00|
|2012||Olympic Games||London, United Kingdom||9th||20 km||1:20:18|
|2013||World Championships||Moscow, Russia||1st||50 km||3:37:56|
- O'Riordan, Ian (2010-07-28). "So near and yet so far for gallant Heffernan". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "London can spur Rob to medal in Moscow, says Loughnane". Irish Examiner. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Ireland’s Rob Heffernan strikes gold in 50km walk". The Irish Times. 2013-08-14.
- "Rob Heffernan: It was a bonus that I destroyed everyone". Irish Independent. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "'Proud' Heffernan: We are as good as anybody". Irish Examiner/BreakingNews.ie. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Robert Heffernan wins Ireland's first world gold for 18 years in 50km walk". Guardian. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Ireland’s Rob Heffernan claims gold at World Track and Field Championships". The Score. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "LEESIDE LEGEND ROB GETS HIS JUST REWARD". Evening Echo. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- "Ireland celebrate first male world champion in 30 years as Heffernan seals 50km walk". Daily Mail. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- "Rob Heffernan aiming for Rio after his 'Rocky' moment". Irish Independent. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.