Sonia O'Sullivan inducted in Hall of Fame on 50th birthday as Mageean named Irish athlete of the year

There were plenty of smiles at the National Athletics Awards in Blanchardstown.

Ciara Mageean and Sonia O'Sullivan holding their awards.
Ciara Mageean and Sonia O'Sullivan holding their awards.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IT WAS AN historic day for Ireland’s most decorated athlete as Sonia O’Sullivan was inducted in the Irish Athletics Hall of Fame on the same day as her 50th birthday.

The Olympic silver medalist was honoured at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown.

A native of Cobh, O’Sullivan enjoyed an incredible career on the international stage. As well as competing in four Olympic Games, she also won three world titles across track and cross-country events.

She was the first woman to win the 5,000m final at the World Championships in 1995 while also winning two gold medals at the 1998 World Cross-Country Championships in Marrakech.

O’Sullivan also won three European titles for Ireland.

Meanwhile, Ciara Mageean capped off an impressive 2019 by scooping the Athlete of the Year award as well as the Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

The Down woman won a bronze medal in the 1,500m at the European Indoor Championships back in March.

Last month, she qualified for the final of the 1,500m at the World Championships in Doha where she finished in 10th place with a new personal best time of 4:00.15, narrowly missing out on breaking the four-minute mark.

ciara-mageean-with-sonia-osullivan Mageean and O'Sullivan at the awards. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

sonia-osullivan-after-receiving-a-birthday-cake-on-the-occasion-of-her-50th-birthday O'Sullivan turned the big 5-0 today. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

brendan-boyce Brendan Boyce was crowned the Endurance Athlete of the Year for 2019. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

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members-of-raheny-shamrocks-after-receiving-the-irish-life-health-performance-club-of-the-year-award The Health Performance Club of the Year award went to the Raheny Shamrocks club. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Irish Life Health National Athletics Award Recipients:

Athlete of the Year: Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn)
Endurance Athlete of the Year: Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley)
U20 Athlete of the Year: Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s Dundalk)
U23 Athlete of the Year: Eilish Flanagan (Carmen Runners)
Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn)
Performance Club of the Year: Raheny Shamrock
Hall of Fame: Sonia O’Sullivan
Lifetime Services to Athletics: Nick Davis
Services to Coaching: Sean Egan
Official of the Year: Bernie Dunne
Inspirational Performance of the Year on Irish Soil: Ciara Neville (Emerald)
Development Club of the Year: Carrick Aces
Mountain Runner of the Year: Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers)
Master Athlete of the Year: Annette Kealy (Raheny Shamrock)
Ultra-Athlete of the Year: Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny)
Schools Athlete of the Year: Efrem Gidey (Le Cheile Tyrellstown/Clonliffe Harriers)
University Athlete of the Year: Marcus Lawler (IT Carlow/SLOT)
Special Recognition Award: Jim Aughney (Dublin marathon), Patricia Walsh, Marita Walton.

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