SIX OF THE country’s top stars are in the running for the the 2020 RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award, with the nominees revealed this afternoon.
Katie Taylor and Sam Bennett are among the contenders.
Source: Inpho Sports.
Katie Taylor, Sam Bennett, Ciarán Kilkenny, Gearóid Hegarty, Sanita Puspure and Colin Keane are all nominated for the prestigious award, the winner who will be revealed at the end of the month following in the footsteps of 2019 champion Shane Lowry.
The 2020 RTÉ Sport Awards will take place on Thursday, 28 January, and will be broadcast on RTÉ One and presented by Joanne Cantwell and Darragh Maloney.
Taylor and Bennett are among the frontrunners, after glittering individual years. Taylor successfully defend her undisputed lightweight belts, triumphed in the long-awaited Delfine Persoon rematch and was named Ring Magazine’s ‘Female Fighter of the Year’ for the second year in succession. Bennett became the first Irish rider since 1989 to win the green jersey at the Tour de France, doing so in style as he took the final stage.
The other nominees also enjoyed outstanding individual success in an unprecedented year, in which sport took a serious hit. Puspure — Irish Sportswoman of the Year in 2019 — claimed gold at the European Rowing Championships, adding to her laden medal cabinet, while Keane was crowned Ireland’s champion flat jockey for the second time.
Six-in-a-row All-Ireland champions Dublin are recognised through Kilkenny’s nomination, with the Castleknock star also in the running for Footballer of the Year. Likewise, Limerick ace Gearóid Hegarty is the hurler to get the nod, though there’s no room for a ladies football or camogie nominee. Soccer, rugby, golf and athletics representatives are also absent from the condensed list of contenders.
The nominees for RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year, RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year and RTÉ Sport Team of the Year will be announced in the coming days.
You can read RTÉ’s bios on the nominees (in alphabetical order) below, and vote in our poll.
The contenders for the RTE Sport 2020 Sportsperson of the Year award have been revealed.
🏆 Ciarán Kilkenny
🏆 Colin Keane
🏆 Gearóid Hegarty
🏆 Katie Taylor
🏆 Sam Bennett
🏆 Sanita Puspure
Find out the winner on Thursday 28 January on @rteonehttps://t.co/XXSqGsrsaJ pic.twitter.com/7mIXxuaWvA
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) January 21, 2021
27-year-old Kilkenny had a stand-out Football Championship campaign, in a Dublin side full of talent. As the Dubs claimed a historic 6-in-a-row, the Castleknock man showed his attacking prowess, scoring 1-20 in five games, all from play, and was named the ‘Sunday Game Footballer of the Year’.
The Co. 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.
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Limerick wing-forward Gearóid Hegarty topped off a standout Hurling Championship campaign by being named Man of the Match in their All-Ireland Final win over Waterford. The St Patrick’s clubman was in scintillating form all year, and hit seven points from play in the final to help Limerick secure their second title in three years. He was also named ‘Sunday Game Hurler of the Year’.
Taylor put on a boxing masterclass to successfully 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. Taylor finished the year being named Ring Magazine’s ‘Female Fighter of the Year’ for the second year in succession.
The Carrick-on-Suir rider claimed the green jersey in style at the Tour de France, winning the final stage at the Champs-Élysées, and becoming the first Irish rider since 1989 to win the famous jersey.
The 38-year-old rower successfully defended her women’s single sculls title at the European Rowing Championships in Poland, adding a further gold medal to her two world titles at the grade.
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