David Kenny

IRISH 20KM RACE WALKER

SILVER MEDAL – 2021 EUROPEAN ATHLETICS U23 CHAMPIONSHIPS
David was just 8yrs old when he was first introduced to Athletics. Like many of his contemporaries at that age, he was also playing Gaelic with Firies and soccer with Ballyhar Dynamos.

The Athletics edged, and then subsequently won out, when David tried ‘Race Walking’ for the Community Games in 2011. Competing for his native parish, Firies, he won a Bronze medal in the National Community Games Race Walk event and was hooked.

As a past pupil of St. Brendan’s College Killarney, David trained almost every Wednesday evening with veteran race walker Michael O’Connor. Winning second level titles at both Provincial and National levels he came to the attention of Athletics National Race Walking coach Michael Lane of Mullingar Harriers.

Currently studying in CIT (now known as MTU), David is being coached by Rob Heffernan, a man who needs no introduction to athletic followers. Under Rob’s guidance he has moved to an elite level.

To get to this level is not cheap!! And requires a lot of funding & personal sacrifices.

For the past three years David has virtually been a full time athlete. While limited financial aid is provided by Athletics Ireland he is largely self-funded, relying on financial support from his family. David has had to give up his part time job, at Daly’s Spar Supermarket Killarney, and is immersed in a vigorous training schedule. Racing competitions and training have kept him traveling to the UK, Sweden, Isle of Man, Spain, Estonia, Czech Republic etc. The times and placing in these races have won him sufficient qualifying points for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

If all that wasn’t enough, David just recently, on the 9th July in Estonia, he won a Silver Medal in the U23 European 20Km Race Walk Championship in Estonia. He is now the only Irish athlete to medal in this competition in the 20Km Race Walk.

David Kenny is an extraordinarily dedicated athlete. Rob Heffernan says, “ he is better than I was at that age”, high praise indeed from Ireland’s Gold medal winner in the 50K Moscow walk 2013.

DAVID KENNY

IN THE MEDIA

Kerryman David Kenny takes silver medal at European U-23 Championships
For race walker David Kenny, this was a day his coach, Rob Heffernan, had long believed would come. In Tallinn, Estonia, the 22-year-old from Farranfore won Ireland its first-ever race walk medal at the European U-23 Championships, clocking 1:25.50 behind Spain’s Jose Manuel Perez (1:25.06). Kenny stalked the leader through halfway and maintained his position well over the gruelling final kilometres in warm conditions, capping a memorable afternoon for him and his coach, the 2013 world 50km race walk champion, who has long declared Kenny the next big thing in Irish race walking. It was Ireland’s ninth medal in the 24-year history of the championships. Kenny will next compete at the Tokyo Olympics, for which he was selected earlier this week in the 20km event.
DAVID KENNY

IN THE MEDIA

Kenny taking it all in his stride
If you were to ask the majority of Kerry sports fans to name the 21-year-old star with the Christian name ‘David’ who is continuously sparkling on a national stage, I am sure the first thought would go to the current Kerry senior football captain from Fossa. Clifford’s immense talent and growing potential is indisputable, but dig a little deeper and the name of David Kenny, from Rusheen in Ballyhar, and Farranfore/Maine Valley Athletic Club, is equally deserving of being mentioned in the same pantheon of future Kingdom sporting sensations. Picture what the race walker achieved on the first two weekends in March, before local, national and international sport ground to a complete standstill with the arrival of the Covid-19 coronavirus into all our lives.
DAVID KENNY

IN THE MEDIA

Tokyo 2020: Team Ireland profiles – David Kenny
Fresh from winning a silver medal at the European Under-23 Championships in Estonia, Kenny has been in excellent form this season, securing a new 20km walk best of 1:23:06 in Dudince back in March before going on to retain his national 20k walk title in Galway on June 12th. Coached by 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Robert Heffernan.

David Kenny

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