Ireland clinch first European Race Walking Cup team medal in Czech Republic

Ireland team members Cian McManamon, Alex Wright and Robert Heffernan with team manager Patsy McGonagle
Ireland clinched team bronze in the 20km event in the Czech Republic

Ireland clinched a first ever European Race Walking Cup medal as they finished third in the 20km event in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Alex Wright led the Irish team home as he finished sixth overall with Robert Heffernan 13th and Cian McManamon in 26th spot in Podebrady.

Spain took the team gold ahead of Germany, with German Christopher Linke winning the individual gold.

Donegal man Brendan Boyce narrowly missed out on bronze in the 50km race.

Boyce was in third place in the closing 10km but eventually finished 42 seconds behind Italy's bronze-medal winner Michele Antonelli.

In the junior women's 10km, Waterford's Orla O'Connor was 21st with Celbridge's Niamh O'Connor 27th as the Irish team placed ninth.

Team manager Patsy McGonagle praised the performances of the Irish walkers in Podebrady.

"I'm proud of this dedicated bunch. I'm looking forward to the World Championships in London with enthusiasm," said McGonagle.

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