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Heffernan leads walkers to World Cup in Rome

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Heffernan leads walkers to World Cup in Rome 

Robert Hefferan will lead a squad of Irish walkers at the IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Rome, Italy this weekend (May7/8).

Heffernan (Togher) recently completed a three week altitude training camp in Morocco and has taken in a low key race in Spain. The 2013 world 50km champion will compete over 20km on Saturday (May 7th). He will be joined by Alex Wright (Leevale), Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny) and Cian McManamon (Westport). You can get all key information on the IAAF site HERE 

“I have a good block of training behind me and raced over 10k in Spain last week so the build-up has been good,” said Heffernan who will feature on RTE's documentary series Road to Rio which starts next Wednesday May 11th.  “I’m excited about our team as this is the strongest team we have ever had going in to the world cup.”

 

Alex Wright has recorded Olympic qualifiers for both the 50km and 20km and is unsure of how sharp he will be coming off a heavy workload but is excited to don the green vest once more. He said: “I had a hard 50k race in March and had a tough altitude camp in Morocco in April so I’m not sure how sharp I will be for 20k but as always I’m excited to be representing Ireland.”

Brendan Boyce is aiming to improve his speed as he builds towards the 50km in Rio. “I know I have to get faster over 20k so this represents a great chance in a world class field in the world cup,” said Boyce.

Cian McManamon (Westport) is looking forward to the challenge of being in the same squad as his more senior teammates having made sacrifices to get to this stage.

“I’m excited to be given this chance in world cup,” said the Westport athlete. “I sacrificed a lot to go to Morocco to train with our team who are world class athletes so I hope it goes well for me.”

Team Manager Patsy McGonagle who will be going to the Olympic Games as the Athletics team manager said: "With 3 A standard athletes competing its an important step on the road to the Olympics. The World Race Walking Cup is a hugely important competition and our team is strong.  I'm confident our lads will perform well."

Ray Flynn who will act as team support said: "Having spent three weeks in Morocco with these lads I know how hard they have trained. It's a well prepared team for a race that will have more depth than even the Olympic games."

Claire McCarthy (Leevale) and Gary Thornton (Galway City Harriers) are listed for the Prague Marathon on May 8th where they’ll hope to bolster their chances of Olympic selection.

Domestically the Belfast International takes place at the Mary Peters Track on Saturday along with the Leevale Open Sports at the CIT sports grounds.

Internationally the Doha Diamond League takes place in Qatar on Friday.

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