Event: 50k race walk
Who is he? 29-year-old Brendan Boyce is one of three Irish athletes that will compete in the 50k race walk in Rio, along with Alex Wright and Rob Heffernan.
Where’s he from? A native of Milford in County Donegal, Boyce is a member of the Letterkenny Athletic Club, although he has been based in Cork since 2012.
Olympic CV: Boyce finished in a very respectable 29th position in London 2012 with a time of 3:55:01.
At the World Championships the following year, the Donegal man went even better, securing a personal best time of 3:54.24 to finish 25th.
Road to Rio: Boyce became one of the first Irish athletes to qualify for Rio, when he finished fifth in the 50k race walk in Dudince back in March of last year.
He achieved a new personal best in Slovakia, with a time of 3:48:55 in what were perfect conditions.
When does he start? He will have plenty of time to adjust to life in Rio, with his race not taking place until Friday, 19 August, a full two weeks after the opening ceremony.
What he says: “Athletics in Donegal has turned a bit of a corner. There is more belief there than ever before that athletes can come through and get Irish vests. They know they can compete for their country and be on the world stage.” (Donegal Democrat, 2016)
Medal chances? Breaking the 20-minute mark in the 5k for their first time back in February, with a time of 19:51:76, was an important milestone in Boyce’s career, and it could lead to even greater things in the future.
Although a podium finish is a huge ask, the top 20 would represent significant progress so he scores two out of five on The42‘s scientifically-developed, patented Jerry Kiernan scale…
And here’s something you probably didn’t know… Boyce trains on Leeside as he is coached by fellow Olympian and 50k walker, Rob Heffernan.
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