Luckless Heffernan suffers Euro fall

Robert Heffernan was a frustrated figure after his ninth place finish in 1:23:26 over 20km at the European Cup of Race Walking in Dudince, Slovakia yesterday as he took a heavy fall at 12km when in contention.

“I took a heavy fall and landed flat on my face,” said Heffernan who was tripped up in good position.

“I really mixed it up before the fall and then broke my butt off to get back on. I’m a bit annoyed because it affected my race but it was still a solid position moving forward.”

In the men’s 50km Micheal Doyle finished eighth in a personal best of 4:08:03 and Luke Hickey finished 14th in the junior 10km in 44:50. Laura Reynolds dropped out of the women’s 20km in the difficult warm conditions.

Paul Robinson announced himself as a gold medal favourite for the 1500m at the European U23 Championships in July when he rounded off his tour of the United States winning the 1500m in 3:37.99 at the Occidental High Performance meet in California on Friday night.

“America has been a great start to the season starting off with the Penn Relays and finishing with a win and 3.37. It sets me up for a good summer,” said Robinson.

Domestically Marcus Lawler marked himself out as a star for the not so distant future when he won the 100m in 10.38 and the 200m in 21.17 at the Aviva Leinster Schools Track and Field Championships in Morton Stadium on Saturday. He also anchored his school CBS Carlow to victory in the 4x100m relay – all were Leinster schools records.

In Donegal, Fionnuala Britton finished fifth in a mixed 3,000m race in 8:55.89 at the official opening of the Danny McDaid track at Letterkenny AC, launched by Jerry Kiernan.

Having returned from altitude training in Font Romeu, Britton’s coach, Chris Jones, was pleased with her showing.

“It was blowing all over the place,” said Jones with regards the wind. “She wasn’t very snappy but looked very strong after the work she has put in at altitude. She’ll kick on from this.”

Mark English was the local star competing and he won the 800m easily in 1:50.96 and he will be another gold medal contender at the European U23s in Tampere, Finland July 11-14.


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