What a corker! Heffernan sets world best performance

Heffernan Robert
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Robert Heffernan of Ireland. 

Nothing can be better than treating a home crowd to a world best performance and that is exactly what Irishman Robert Heffernan did on Monday night.

Heffernan chose the 62nd Cork City Sports International meeting to produce an outstanding race walking display when he broke the 3000m world masters record (35+) with a time of 11:11.94.

He was only 35 in February but one of Ireland’s greatest athletes remains at the top of his game - and what a venue to enter the record books at this level.

Heffernan was born in Cork and his time at this European Athletics Area Permit meeting broke the 11:12.02 mark set by his fellow Irishman Jamie Costin in 2010.

The World Championships in Moscow next month now beckon for Heffernan who had an outstanding Olympics in London when he was fourth in the 50km in a national record of 3:37:54 – missing out on bronze by 38 seconds – and ninth in the 20km in 1:20:18.

Far shorter than he normally walks, Heffernan lapped up the success of this world masters record and national record being achieved in Cork.

He told irishexaminer.com: "There's nothing quite like performing in front of your home crowd. I can't feel my arms. I'm full of lactic."

Two years before London, Heffernan was fourth in both the 20km and 50km walks at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, a magnificent double with the longer distance taking place just three days after the shorter one.

Over 400m, Christine Ohuruogu has been one of Great Britain's leading athletes of the last seven years, with her triumphs at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, World Championships in 2007 and Olympic Games in 2008 – and her success is starting to run in the family.

The gradual progression of her sister Victoria, 20, goes on and she won the 400m in Cork in 53.09.

Sweden's Tracey Andersson threw 68.15m for victory in the hammer while there were high jump wins for Romania's Mihai Donisan in the men's event with a best of 2.20m and for Britain's Isabel Pooley in the women's with 1.88m.