Nominees announced for RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year

Winner will be announced when the awards take place on January 28th

Katie Taylor is among the nominess. Photo: Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing/Inpho

Katie Taylor is among the nominess. Photo: Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing/Inpho

 

Six of the most successful names across six different sports have been nominated for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award, the winner being decided by a panel of judges during a broadcast next Thursday, January 28th.

The nominations in three other categories – Young Sportsperson, Manager of the Year, and Team of the Year – will be announced in the coming days. Though delayed somewhat on previous editions, it was decided to press ahead with the awards given the number of standout Irish sporting performances even in the face of Covid-19.

Sam Bennett (cycling) is nominated for the first time: the Carrick-on-Suir rider claimed the green jersey in style at the Tour de France, winning two stages outright, including the final stage at the Champs-Élysées, and becoming the first Irish rider since Seán Kelly in 1989 to win the famous jersey. He also won a stage in the Vuelta a España later in the season.

Katie Taylor (boxing) was the outright award winner back in 2012: she put on another boxing masterclass to defend her undisputed lightweight belts against challenger Miriam Gutierrez, inflicting a first professional defeat on the Spaniard. In August, the Bray boxer defeated her nemesis Delfine Persoon in a gruelling rematch.

Sanita Puspure (rowing) receives a second consecutive nomination: the 38-year-old rower successfully defended her women’s single sculls title at the European Rowing Championships in Poland.

Ciarán Kilkenny (Gaelic football): the 27-year-old Kilkenny had another standout football championship campaign as Dublin claimed a historic six-in-a-row, scoring 1-20 in five games, all from play.

Colin Keane (Horseracing): the Meath man was crowned Ireland’s champion flat jockey for a second time, claiming two classic victories on the way, winning the Irish Oaks and Irish 2,000 Guineas, whilst topping off the season a with Breeders’ cup win on-board Tarnawa.

Gearóid Hegarty (Hurling): the Limerick wing-forward topped off a standout hurling championship campaign by being named Man of the Match in their All-Ireland Final win over Waterford, scoring seven points from play.

Even with current Covid-19 restrictions, each of the nominees will be joining the broadcast virtually; the Sportsperson of the Year, Team of the Year and Manager of the Year will be selected by a panel (names below) while the Young Sportsperson will be chosen by RTÉ Sport executives.

Among the criteria for nominees was the impact the achievement had on the nation. The awards will broadcast on Thursday 28 January, 10.15pm, RTÉ One.

RTÉ Sport awards 2020 - judging panel

Sean Blackwell - RTÉ Sport Awards Programme Editor; Kieran Cunningham - Chief Sports Writer, Irish Daily Star; Declan McBennett - RTÉ Sport, Group Head of Sport; Ryan McCann - RTÉ Sport Awards Executive Producer; Shane McGrath - Chief Sports Writer, Irish Daily Mail & Irish Mail on Sunday; Paula Fahy (RTÉ Sport Resource and Commissions Manager); Mary O’Connor - CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport; Clíona O’Leary - RTÉ Sport, Deputy Head, TV Sport; Denis Walsh - Sports Writer, The Sunday Times; Andy Watters - Sports Reporter, Irish News

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