Longlist for 2019 RTÉ Sportsperson of Year announced

Longlist for 2019 RTÉ Sportsperson of Year announced

RTÉ Sport has announced a long-list of 26 nominees for the RTÉ Sport Awards 2019 Sportsperson of the Year.

The following list comprises sportspeople who were deemed worthy of consideration for the ‘RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year’ award shortlist, which will be revealed on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Sport on 8 December.

The winner will be revealed on the awards programme, which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One, Saturday, 14 December at 9.30pm.

SAM BENNETT

The Carrick-on-Suir road cyclist picked up 13 stage wins in 2019, including a double victory at the Vuelta a España, where he secured the third and 14th stages. His performances this year cemented his place as one of the most prolific sprinters in the pro peloton this year.

LYDIA BOYLAN

Dubliner Lydia Boylan claimed Ireland’s first silver medal at the World Track Cycling Championship in five years. The 31-year-old narrowly missed out on gold by one point in the 25-kilometre Points Race in Poland.

JACK BYRNE

Shamrock Rovers and Ireland midfielder Jack Byrne had a standout season for the Hoops. The playmaker was rewarded for his efforts with a call up to the Republic of Ireland squad, ending the year with two caps and lifting the FAI Cup. He was also named the ‘PFAI Player of the Year’.

SEAMUS CALLANAN

Tipperary’s All-Ireland winning captain and Hurler of the Year finished his summer with a scoring contribution of 8-18, scoring eight goals in eight games, including a goal and two points in their final win over Kilkenny.

STEPHEN CLUXTON

The inspirational Dublin stopper captained his side to a record fifth All-Ireland title in a row. The 37-year-old Footballer of the Year had a phenomenal season, pulling off a string of vital saves and continuing to re-define the goalkeeper position in Gaelic football.

CATHAL DANIELS

Galway’s Cathal Daniels produced a magnificent performance at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships in Germany to claim the individual bronze medal aboard Rioghan Rua. It is the first Irish senior European Eventing medal win since 1995.

KATIE-GEORGE DUNLEVY and EVE McCRYSTAL

The tandem para-cyclists claimed time-trial gold at the UCI Para-cycling World Championships, doing so for the third year in succession. The duo also took silver three days later in the women’s tandem road-race.

ELLEN KEANE

Clontarf native Ellen Keane won bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB8 at the World Para-Swimming Championships in London. Keane’s performance in the final was a season’s best for the Dublin swimmer.

SINEAD GOLDRICK

Six-time All-Star Sinéad Goldrick put in a series of outstanding performances this year and scored a crucial goal for Dublin in their All-Ireland final victory over Galway, as the Sky Blues claimed a famous three-in-a-row.

NIAMH KILKENNY

Galway’s Niamh Kilkenny collected the Camogie Association/WGPA Senior Players’ Player of the Year award following player of the match displays in both the All-Ireland semi-final and final, as the Tribeswomen claimed their third O’Duffy Cup with victory over Kilkenny.

SHANE LOWRY

Shane Lowry claimed his first major title in commanding fashion at the 148th Open at Royal Portrush. The Clara man battled miserable conditions to become the fifth Irish player to lift the Claret Jug. He also won his first tournament in three and a half years with victory in the Abu Dhabi Championship at the start of the year.

CIARA MAGEEAN

Ciara Mageean ran a personal best in the 1500m final at the Athletics World Championships in Doha, finishing in 10th place amongst a stellar field. She is only the second Irishwoman in history to make the world 1500m final, after Sonia O’Sullivan in 1997. The 26-year-old Portaferry runner also won her first indoor medal, securing bronze at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

RHYS McCLENAGHAN

Rhys McClenaghan created history this year as he became the first Irish gymnast to medal at the World Championships, claiming a bronze medal in the pommel horse in Stuttgart. The Down native also booked a berth in the event at the 2020 Olympic Games by qualifying for the final earlier.

RORY McILROY

The 30-year-old won four titles during the season, including the Players Championship, the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, where he also claimed the FedExCup and the WGC-HSBC in Shanghai. In one of his most consistent years to date the Holywood native was also named the PGA Tour ‘Player of the Year’ for a third time.

OISIN MURPHY

Killarney native flat jockey Oisin Murphy rode 166 winners in the season to be crowned ‘British Flat Racing Champion Jockey’. The 24-year-old is the youngest competitor to win the title since a 23-year-old Ryan Moore secured the title in 2006.

DONNACHA O’BRIEN

Donnacha O’Brien was officially crowned ‘Irish Champion Flat Jockey’ for the second time on the final day of the season at Naas. O’Brien’s title victory means he matches the feat of his older brother Joseph, who won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. O’Brien (21) subsequently announced his retirement from the saddle to concentrate on a training career.

AOIFE O’ROURKE

Aoife O’Rourke was crowned European Champion in Madrid as the Roscommon native defeated Poland’s Elzebieta Wojcik in the 75kg final. She becomes only the second Irish female fighter after Katie Taylor to claim a gold medal at the championships.

DENISE O’SULLIVAN

Republic of Ireland star Denise O’Sullivan helped North Carolina Courage to the National Women’s Soccer League title in the USA for the second year running. The Cork native was also named the clubs ‘Most Valuable Player’ for the second campaign in a row. The 72-cap international was also in excellent form for the national side and was named ‘Women’s Senior International Player of the Year’.

SANITA PUSPURE

The Ballincolling resident successfully retained her women’s single sculls gold medal at the Rowing World Championships in Austria and also won a gold medal in the single sculls event at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne, and in doing so, set a new European record.

JONATHAN REA

Antrim man Jonathan Rea secured a record fifth straight World Superbike title. Rea has surpassed Carl Fogarty’s tally of four World Superbike titles and equals compatriot Joey Dunlop’s achievement of five consecutive Formula TT world titles.

DAVY RUSSELL

Jockey Davy Russell raced into the history books on board Tiger Roll, which became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back renewals of the Aintree Grand National. It’s 46 years since Red Rum claimed the first of his three victories in the most famous steeplechase in the world.

JASON SMYTH

Derry sprinter Jason Smyth scorched his way to his eighth World Para-Athletics Championships gold medal, winning the 100m in the T13 class in Dubai in a championship record time of 10.54 seconds. The 32-year-old was just 0.08sec off his own world record time, set in London in 2012.

KATIE TAYLOR

The Bray boxer made history by unifying all four world lightweight titles with a hard-fought, narrow victory over Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden. With the victory, the 33-year-old added the WBC Lightweight title to her IBF, WBA and WBO belts. Taylor then moved up in weight to become Ireland’s third two-weight world champion, with a unanimous points victory over Christina Linardatou, adding the WBO Super Lightweight belt to her collection.

PAUL TOWNEND

The Cork jockey won the title of ‘Irish Champion National Hunt Jockey’, having ridden 109 Irish winners in the campaign, including five Grade One victories. The most famous of which was the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Al Boum Photo.

NICOLE TURNER

Seventeen-year-old Portarlington native Nicole Turner showed incredible resolve as she powered through the final ten metres to move from fifth to third and claim the bronze medal in the 50m Butterfly S6 at the World Para-Swimming Championships in London.

KURT WALKER

Kurt Walker won gold at the European Games after beating Mykola Butsenko of Ukraine in the bantamweight final. The 24-year-old from Lisburn beat top seed Peter McGrail of Britain on a split decision in the semi-finals, before winning the final on a unanimous decision over Butsenko, who was the second seed.

Information on criteria and judging panel can be found here.

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