Athletics

Ireland's Brendan Boyce Finishes Brilliant 6th In 50km Race Walk At World Champs

Ireland's Brendan Boyce Finishes Brilliant 6th In 50km Race Walk At World Champs

Brendan Boyce finished a brilliant sixth in the 50km race walk at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Despite an attempt to mitigate the testing conditions by starting the race late on Saturday night, it was still run in searing heat and incredible humidity.

The Donegal man was 14th at the halfway point and then gradually began to work his way through the field, reaching sixth by around the 40km mark.

The race was won by Japan's Yusuke Suzuki in 4:04.20 with Portugal's 43-year-old Joao Viera in second and Canada's Evan Dunfee in third.

Viera is the oldest person to ever win a medal at the World Championships.

Boyce finished in 4:07.46, crossing the line with a moonwalk.

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"It was actually easy for 40k because I completely zoned out," Boyce said in a video on the Athletics Ireland Twitter account.

"I was like, 'This is a training session, forget about it'. A 40k training session and a 10k race - that's the way it panned out.

"The race plan was perfect. Rob [Heffernan] made sure I was fully confident in what I was doing the whole race. I was getting feedback all the way and everything was bang on - the cooling strategy was perfect.

"Our training was so good, it didn't matter what the conditions were, I was going to be top six or top eight. It was just the fact that we got everything else spot on that the result came.

"I just love 50k. Being Irish, we just love misery, so the 50k is perfect for me really. Being out there, being miserable for four hours, misery is happiness for me.

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"The 50k, they're talking about getting rid of it, no, this is a unique event in athletics. The marathon is just over two hours, this is four hours. You have to be mentally strong.

"I fully believe that if I put another nine months together, I'll be in contention for a medal in Tokyo. These are the conditions I love. I'm not as fast as everyone else but I can grind, grind, grind for 50k. Bring on Tokyo - I want to win that medal."

Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

See Also: The Heat Turned The Women's Marathon Into A Farce At The World Championships

 

PJ Browne
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