Olive Loughnane confirmed as a World Champion

The race walker originally finished second in the 20 km race in Berlin in 2009

loughnane, heffernan, ireland, athletics, race walking, berlin, 2009

Ireland's Olive Loughnane with winner Olga Kaniskina, centre, of Russia, and third placed Hong Liu, of China, after the Women's 20K Walk Final. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

A great day for Irish athletics has been made even better with the news that Olive Loughnane has been confirmed as a World Champion.

The 40-year-old finished second in the 2009 World Championships in the 20km walk in Berlin behind Russia's Olga Kaniskina. It was Loughnane's best finish in a major championships.

Along with Sergey Kirdyapkin, Kaniskina has had her results disqualified from "from 15 August 2009 to 15 October 2012" after a ruling by the CAS.

Kaniskina, like Kirdyapkin was suspended for irregularities in her biological passport. The ban means that she still holds on to the Olympic gold from 2008 and World title from a year previously. 

Loughnane now becomes Ireland's fourth World Champion after Eamonn Coghlan, Sonia O'Sullivan and Rob Heffernan.