RTÉ has announced the nominess for its 2020 Sportsperson of the Year award.
Dublin footballer Ciarán Kilkenny and Limerick hurler Gearóid Hegarty are the Gaelic games nominees while flat jockey Colin Keane, undisputed lightweight world champion Katie Taylor, rower Sanita Purpure and Tour de France green jersey winner Sam Bennett the others up for the award.
A ceremony, hosted by Joanne Cantwell and Darragh Maloney, will be broadcast on RTÉ One on January 28th.
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.
27-year-old Kilkenny had a stand-out football championship campaign in a Dublin side full of talent. As the Dubs claimed a historic six-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’. He is also nominated for All-Star 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.
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’ and is a nominee for All-Star 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.