Originally Posted by DONTMATTER
Winning medals is always a good thing. That it was in race walking kind of lessons it. We only have 4 World championship gold medalists and only a few more medalists on the Olympic stage. Rob has both but he's not listed in the same breath as Sonia or Ronnie or Treacy. How many kids start athletics dreaming of becoming a race walker? Anyway, well done on a good career Rob.
I suppose you could put a caveat on anyone really. There were no East Africans during Ronnie's time, very little during Treacy's, and while there were a fair few during Sonia's time, they hadn't emerged on the women's side at that point to the extent they had on the men's side.
Racewalking, much like the hammer throw and the decathlon, will never be a glamorous event. The 50km is an incredibly fascinating event though. I'm not fond of the 20km, but the last 10-15km of the 50km can be one of the most unpredictable and eventful events in athletics. You just don't know how somebody's body is going to react in the latter stages, and all hell can break loose.
His consistency has been very impressive over the years. Over 50km alone, he was 4th in 2010 Europeans, bronze in 2012 Olympics, gold in 2013 Worlds, 5th in 2015 Worlds, 6th in 2016 Olympics and 8th in 2017 Worlds. Add in his 20km achievements with 6th in the 2007 Worlds and bronze in the 2010 Europeans into the mix and you've got a very stellar career right there.
It will be a barren spell for Ireland in racewalking now. Over the last 16 years we've had either Gillian O'Sullivan, Olive Loughnane or Rob Heffernan fighting for medals. Now we have nobody.