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Six women included on RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year 2021 shortlist

The winner will be announced on Saturday, 18 December,

Kellie Harrington, Rachael Blackmore and Ellen Keane are among the nominees.
Kellie Harrington, Rachael Blackmore and Ellen Keane are among the nominees.
Image: Inpho

THE SHORTLIST FOR RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year for 2021 has been announced, with six women making the cut in the eight-strong list.

Rachael Blackmore, Kellie Harrington, Ellen Keane, Cian Lynch, Leona Maguire, Jason Smyth, Katie Taylor and Vikki Wall have all been nominated for the award, which will be announced live on RTÉ One on Saturday, 18 December.

Tipperary jockey Blackmore has enjoyed a superb year. Last April she became the first woman to win the Aintree Grand National, steering Minella Times to success, while at Cheltenham she became the first female winner of the Top Jockey award.

Dublin boxer Harrington provided one of the major highlights of the sporting summer by winning gold in the lightweight category at the Tokyo Olympics. 

At her fourth Paralympic Games, swimmer Keane won her first gold medal, delivering a superb performance in the SB8 100m breaststroke final.

Lynch is nominated after another excellent season which culminated in a man-of-the-match performance in the All-Ireland hurling final, as Limerick powered past Cork to claim back-to-back championship titles for the first time.

Meanwhile Maguire has registered a number of career milestones on the golf course. The Cavan native started the year at 177 in the world jumpings but climbed to 43 with a number of brilliant displays on the LPGA tour. The 27-year-old also competed at the Tokyo Olympics and was part of Team Europe’s win in the Solheim Cup, where she managed to score 4.5 points out of five, a record for a rookie at the event.

Smyth also took gold at the Paralympics, winning his sixth gold medal in a thrilling T13 100m final.

Bray fighter Taylor – who won last year’s Sportsperson of the Year award – has successfully defended her titles twice this year. The undisputed lightweight world champion beat Natasha Jones in Manchester in May, and comfortably saw off Jennifer Han in Leeds in September, and takes on Firuza Sharipova in Liverpool on Saturday

Meath footballer Wall also makes the cut following Meath’s shock All-Ireland win. The Dunboyne player was player of the match in the final win over Dublin, where Meath produced a stunning performance to win the county’s first ever senior All-Ireland title.

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