Rob Heffernan to receive first Olympic medal on Irish soil

Race walker awarded bronze medal for 2012 race after Russian gold medallist disqualified

Cork athlete Rob Heffernan is set to make history next week when he becomes the first sportsperson to ever receive an Olympic medal on Irish soil.

The race walker finished fourth in the London Olympics in 2012. He was awarded the bronze medal following the disqualification of the Russian gold medal winner, Sergey Kirdyapkin, for doping.

A medal presentation is set to take place in Cork City Hall next Thursday.

Speaking on the Neil Prendeville Show, on Cork's Red FM, Heffernan admitted he has yet to see the medal.


“The winner was caught for doping with another 25 Russian athletes so it took a few years but eventually he was disqualified.

“Now he is banned. It is gas because it is only coming together now. It will only become a reality on the night because I have not had my hand on the medal and I still have not seen it. I reckon it is going to be an amazing feeling.”

Heffernan is the only Irish man to have won a European, World and Olympic medal.

Heffernan’s bronze medal makes him the third Irish athlete to win an Olympic track and field medal in the last fifty years, after John Treacy’s silver in the marathon in 1984 and Sonia O’Sullivan silver in the 5000m in 2000.