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India's Rana finishes 33rd; Heffernan clinches gold

Moscow, August 14, 2013, DHNS:
Robert Heffernan of Ireland celebrates winning the men's 50 km race walk final during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 14, 2013. REUTERS

India's Basant Bahadur Rana finished 33rd in the men's 50km walk event of the 14th World Championships in athletics on Wednesday.

Rana timed 3 hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds to finish the gruelling event. His compatriot Sandeep Kumar, who was 45th at the half-way mark, was disqualified shortly afterwards.

Rana had clocked a national record of 3:56:48 while coming 36th in the London Olympics last year.

Ireland's Robert Heffernan won the gold medal after a grim battle against his Russian and Australian rivals. It was his country's first World Champioships gold in 30 years.
Heffernan clocked 3:37:56 to come ahead of Mickhail Ryzhov of Russia and Jared Tallent of Australia. Ryzhov clocked 3:38:58 and Tallent timed 3:40:03.


Kenya's Asbel Kiprop, in sizzling form this season, led the qualifiers into the semifinals of the men's 1500 metres in a time of 3:38.15 while Ethiopian Meseret Defar, the Olympic champion, safely entered the final of the women's 5000 metres, timing 15:22.94.

In long jump qualifying, Olympic champion Greg Rutherford of Britain crashed out while season's leaders Alexander Menkov of Russia and Luis Rivera of Mexico advanced after a bit of a struggle.

Rutherford, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, could manage only 7.87 metres on the day.

Four-time champion Dwight Phillips, competing in his seventh World Championships, also made it through with a season's best of 7.95 metres.
World record holder Betty Heidler of Germany bowed out in the qualifying round itself, finishing 18th. Heidler, who was unbeaten in eight competitions this season, had a best of 68.83 on the day.


Results:
Men: 50km walk: Robert Heffernan (Ireland) 3:37:56, 1; Mikhail Ryzhov (Russia) 3:38:58, 2; Jared Tallent (Australia) 3:40:03.

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