Rob Heffernan "over the moon" as he receives the Olympic medal he's dreamed of

Cork race walker speaks to Newstalk Drive

BY Raf Diallo 19:06 Thursday 3 November 2016, 19:06 3 Nov 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Rob Heffernan has spoken of his delight at achieving a lifetime ambition by getting his hands on an Olympic medal.

November 3rd was the date that the Cork race walker was due to receive his retrospective bronze medal from London 2012 for the 50K walk after Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin was disqualified for doping offences.

Speaking to Newstalk Drive, Heffernan shared his happiness at the positive day of reckoning.

"It's a dream come true for me. I've gone to five Olympics and ever since I went to Sydney and got through my first Olympics, my dream was to win a medal and I've dedicated my whole life to it," he said.

"And now to actually get my hands on the medal tonight in whatever circumstances, I'm over the moon and I can't be happier."

While he did not get to enjoy a medal ceremony in London, that in a way fuelled the motivation that led to him winning gold at the 2013 World Championships. 

"It's not ideal but I just don't look back at it as a negative because I just came back the next year so hungry after what I achieved in London and drove on to win the World Championships which was a phenomenal feat for me. It gave me another boost and I used that negative energy to perform a year later," he said, adding that anti-doping is beginning to garner results.

As for future targets, Heffernan is hopeful of a podium place at the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.

"My goal next year, I would love to go back to that arena, not focusing on the negative - I did miss out being on the podium in the Mall in London [2012] and I'd love to be up on the podium there in 2017 and give the Queen a wave. To have an Irishman get a medal or win a World Championship in the Mall in London would be really, really historic, That's what I'm going to use as my motivation to get me out the door and to get back really fit to compete," he said.


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