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Athletics: Rob Heffernan finishes ninth in the 20km as China's Chen takes gold

Updated: Sunday, 05 Aug 2012 09:38 | Comments

Rob Heffernan usually races the 20km to work on his speed for the 50km race
Rob Heffernan usually races the 20km to work on his speed for the 50km race

Rob Heffernan finished ninth in the 20km walk as Ding Chen of China took the gold medal in a new Olympic record of 1:18.46.

Heffernan, whose preferred race is the 50km version, completed the race in a personal best time of 1:20.18.

The Cork athlete remained in contention until the closing stages and but dropped off the lead group as Guatemala's Erick Barrondo took silver and China’s Wang Zhen took bronze.

Chen, 19, led from the 14km stage and pulled away from the pack to finish the race well clear.

Russia's Valeriy Borchin, the defending champion, had moved up to second by the 16km stage but collapsed with the finish in sight.

Chen picked up the pace to pull clear of the field and began high-fiving the crowd as he approached The Mall.

A late burst took Barrondo well ahead in second, with Wang 39 seconds behind the winner.

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Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

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