Rob Heffernan finishes sixth in 50km walk

The bronze medal winner in 2012 finished as the best of the Irish

Rob Heffernan, Olympics, Ireland,

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ireland's Robert Heffernan finished sixth in the final of the men's 50km race walk on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.

Slovakia's Matej Toth was the eventual winner, finishing the race in a time of 3:40:58, with Heffernan coming in nearly three minutes behind him with a time of 3:43:55. 

There were a number of athletes who struggled in completing the difficult course, as French athlete Yohann Diniz repeatedly pulled up with cramp, eventually dropping back from the early lead which he had established to fall well behind the rest of the leading pack. 

Ireland's Alex Wright didn't finish the event either, while Brendan Boyce finished in 19th position with a time of 3:53:59. 

Speaking after the race, a clearly disconsolate Heffernan said: "I tried to win the Olympic Games and I finished sixth. At one stage I thought I was going to win when Yohann came off the front and they made a move to go, my legs were cramping for the last 12 or 14 km.

"You know, to finish sixth in an Olympic Games, my fifth Olympic Games, to still be one of the best in the world and on another day I think I could have been further up, I have to be delighted."