Athletics

'It Will Be Like Cork's Version Of Coppers'

'It Will Be Like Cork's Version Of Coppers'

An Irish athlete winning an Olympic medal is a rare occasion. Even if it comes four years late, it should still be celebrated.

That's what Rob Heffernan is going do in Cork tonight.

More than four years after the London Olympics, Heffernan will receive a bronze medal for the 50k walk at the Games.

Heffernan had finished fourth in London but the disqualification of Sergey Kirdyapkin from the event earlier this year due to a doping violation - the Russian had finished in first place - meant that there was justice for the Corkman as he was bumped up to the bronze medal position.

He will be presented with the medal at a ceremony in Cork City Hall this evening.

The 38-year-old spoke on Radio One's Morning Ireland about tonight's event.

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I'm grateful.

I put in such a great performance that day. Nobody has a divine right to win an Olympic medal. Something as small as shaving my head and getting sunburnt could have cost me in Rio. You have no right to win a medal.

Maybe down the road when I have the medal, I'll think it would have been great to get it in London but to get it in Cork will be very special.

After the ceremony, proceedings turn to the Soho Bar on Cork's Grand Parade where it sounds like Heffernan is going to enjoy himself.

There is meant to be a thousand people there.

Soho Bar is being opened up, it will be like Cork's version of Coppers! I'm looking forward to the social side of it to be honest. I'm looking forward to chatting to everyone. I'm looking forward to chatting to the kids and hopefully I can inspire a new generation, that would be special for me.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

PJ Browne
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