Katie Taylor has been nominated for RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year for a sixth time.
Taylor was first nominated for the prize in 2010, before winning it for the first and only time in 2012 following a year in which she claimed an Olympic gold medal, as well as a gold in the World Amateur Championships.
RTÉ announced the long-list of 23 nominees today, with Taylor being included following her unification of the WBA and IBF world lightweight championships against Victoria Bustos in April.
Taylor fought three times in 2018. She beat Bustos to unify the IBF and WBA lightweight divisions, followed by wins over Kimberley Connor and Cindy Serrano in July and October respectively to extend her professional record to 11-0.
The Bray-native faces stiff competition for SPOTY, with Johnny Sexton the early favourite following a year which saw him claim Six Nations, Grand Slam, Pro14 and Champions Cup winners’ medals. Sexton — who capped off the year with a World Player of the Year gong — was also part of the Irish side that beat New Zealand for the first time on home soil, as well as a series win over Australia.
Katie is one of three boxers nominated for the award. Portlaoise’s TJ Donehy enjoyed a tremendous win in Tokyo to claim the IBF World Super Bantamweight title, thus taking his professional career record to 20-0.
Meanwhile, Dublin-native Kellie Harrington has been nominated after winning a gold medal at lightweight at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, becoming only the third Irish fighter to win a world amateur gold.
RTÉ will reveal the final shortlist for the 2018 SPOTY on the 9th of December, before Darragh Maloney and Joanne Cantwell present the award on the 15th of December on RTÉ One.
RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year Nominee Long-list:
- Sinéad Aherna (GAA)
- Thomas Barr (Athletics)
- TJ Donehy (Boxing)
- Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal (Cycling)
- Brian Fenton (GAA)
- Kellie Harrington (Boxing)
- Phil Healy (Athletics)
- Patrick Hoban (Soccer)
- Ellen Keane (Swimming)
- Cian Lynch (GAA)
- Arthur-Lanigan O’Keefe (Athletics)
- Dan Martin (Cycling)
- Padraig McCarthy (Horse-riding)
- Rhys McClenaghan (Gymnastics)
- Ayeisha McFerran (Hockey)
- Sanita Puspure (Rowing)
- Jonathan Rea (Motorcycling)
- Davy Russell (Horseracing)
- Shane Ryan (Swimming)
- Johnny Sexton (Rugby)
- Chloe Sigerson (GAA)
- Jason Smyth (Athletics)
- Katie Taylor (Boxing)