Rob Heffernan restored to sixth after bronze medallist appeals disqualification

Rob Heffernan restored to sixth after bronze medallist appeals disqualification
Robert Heffernan of Ireland competing in the Men's 50km Walk Final during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

Update 9pm: Rob Heffernan has been restored to sixth place after an eventful Men's 50K walk in Rio.

The London bronze medal winner was provisionally promoted to fifth place, but he has now reverted to the position in which he crossed the finish line.

That’s after Japan's Hirooki Arai successfully appealed against his disqualification from third place.

Update 5pm: Rob Heffernan has been upgraded to fifth place in the Olympics men's 50k walk in Rio, after bronze-medallist Hiroochi Arai was disqualified after the race by the judges.

Heffernan clocked 3:43:55 in ending two minutes off the podium in his medal defence as world champion Matej Toth of Slovakia won in 3:40:58.

Toth took the lead at the 48km marker past defending champion Jared Tallent of Australia, who took silver 18 seconds behind the winner.

A further eight seconds down was Arai in third, but with his bronze removed, it was passed to Canadian Evan Dunfee, who had led from 30km when long-time early leader Yohan Diniz took a break.

It also means Brendan Boyce finished 18th in 3:53:59.

Earlier: Rob Heffernan has finished sixth in his bid for another Olympic walking medal, finishing just off the podium in the men's 50k walk in Rio.

Heffernan clocked 3:43:55 in ending two and a half minutes off the podium as world champion Matej Toth of Slovakia won in 3:40:58.

Toth took the lead at the 48km marker past defending champion Jared Tallent of Australia, who took silver 18 seconds behind the winner.

A further eight seconds down was Japan's Hiroochi Arai in third, with Canadian Evan Dunfee, who had led from 30km when long-time early leader Yohan Diniz took a break, finishing fourth.

The brutal South American heat took it’s toll on the athletes, with Ireland’s Alex Wright one of many who did not finish.

Alex Wright of Ireland competing in the Men's 50km Walk Final during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Alex Wright of Ireland competing in the Men's 50km Walk Final during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Yohann Diniz of France led for long periods but collapsed, appearing to be overcome by a mixture of stomach problems and heat. Remarkably, he resumed the race .

Brendan Boyce finished a creditable 19th in 3:53:59.

Heffernan was cheered on in his native Cork by daughter Megan and Cathal and crowds of family and friends.

More to follow.

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