Katie Taylor Fancied For Another RTE Sportsperson Of The Year Award

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Katie Taylor Fancied For Another RTE Sportsperson Of The Year Award
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With the awards ceremony taking place this coming Saturday, anticipation is once again beginning to rise as seven worthy candidates battle it out for the honour of being the RTE Sportsperson of the Year for 2023 and betting sites have odds at the ready!

When the RTE Sports Awards first took place in 1985, it was Monaghan’s Barry McGuigan who was selected as the top sportsperson across the entire island of Ireland. 

Given he defeated Eusebio Pedroza to become the World Boxing Association featherweight champion at Loftus Road, London in June of the same year – and also won three other professional bouts in 1985 – he was a more than worthy winner of the award.

Michael Carruth and Michael Conlan have also been honoured in the past for their exploits in the ring from an amateur perspective, but the current holder of the RTE Sportsperson of the Year gong has navigated both strands of boxing to an extraordinary extent.

RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year 2023 Odds

PlayerOddsProbability
Katie Taylor4/9BoyleSports
Rhys McClenaghan2/1BoyleSports
Johnny Sexton5/1BoyleSports
Katie McCabe10/1BoyleSports
Paul Townend66/1BoyleSports
Róisín Ní Riain100/1BoyleSports
Aaron Gillane200/1BoyleSports

Taylor Once Again In Line For Top Award

After previously being nominated on several occasions, Wicklow native Katie Taylor won the top individual prize at the RTE Sports Awards in 2012 – a few short months after earning Olympic gold in London. 

She subsequently turned professional in the wake of a disappointing Olympics in 2016 and with a succession of titles coming her way, Taylor was unveiled as the Sportsperson of the Year in 2020 and 2022.

There was disappointment for the Bray fighter in the form of a loss to Chantelle Cameron at Dublin’s 3Arena in May of this year, but she bounced back to overcome the same boxer in the same venue last month. 

Although this effectively made her a late entrant for the nominees list, her popularity has once again seen her racing to the top of the outright betting for Sportsperson of the Year.

At the time of writing, Taylor is regarded as the 4/9 favourite in the eyes of BoyleSports.

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Gymnast McClenaghan Very Much In The Running

The winner of this award – and all the other awards that are set to be handed out on the night - will be selected by an independent panel of expert judges from across the Irish sporting media and performance world. 

When you consider the esteem she is held in by those who are included in these particular fields, it is easy to see why she is currently leading the way.

That said, there is no shortage of worthy contenders on the Sportsperson shortlist and Down gymnast Rhys McClenaghan is rated strongly by betting apps at 2/1.

Still just 24 years of age, McClenaghan became a back-to-back world champion this year by claiming gold in the pommel horse event at the World Artistic Gymnastic Championships and he also secured his second European Championship pommel horse gold in what was a busy year overall. 

His world championship success offered him a spot at next year’s Olympics in Paris and he will be one to watch out for in the French capital.

Retired Sexton Still In Contention Despite World Cup Disappointment

Earlier this year, Johnny Sexton was seen as the likeliest candidate for Sportsperson of the Year after he had guided Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam and was preparing for a swansong at the Rugby World Cup. 

Another quarter-final exit for the Green Army in the latter has lengthened the odds on the retired fly-half, but he remains at a solid 5/1 in the market.

Previously a winner of the award in 2018, the Dubliner was also shortlisted for this prize in 2013 and 2014.

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Republic Of Ireland Stand Out McCabe Features Amongst The Pack

In what was an historic year for women’s football, it is no surprise to see Ireland’s finest player making the Sportsperson shortlist. 

Katie McCabe captained the Republic of Ireland women’s national team in their first appearance at the World Cup finals and also registered their first goal in the global tournament during a group stage loss to Canada.

This was the first of six goals that she scored for Ireland in 2023, including a hat-trick against Albania in a successful UEFA Nations League campaign. 

She is also a key part of an Arsenal side that is seeking to challenge for silverware on all fronts and she is rated at 10/1 with football betting sites for this individual accolade.

Townend, Ní Riain And Gillane Significant Outsiders For Top Individual Gong

Beyond the four named above, the remaining contenders for Sportsperson of the Year are seen as outside contenders at the very least.

Hailing from Lisgoold in Co. Cork, jockey Paul Townend had another bumper year in national hunt racing by winning a third Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard Galopin Des Champs. 

He also won the Irish Gold Cup with the same horse, but is only regarded as a 66/1 possibility with horse racing betting sites for the Sportsperson of the Year.

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The youngest nominee at just 18, Limerick’s Róisín Ní Riain won gold and silver medals at this year’s Para Swimming World Championship in Manchester and is set to compete at her second Paralympics in Paris next year. 

She is an unlikely winner at 100/1, but Ní Riain is also nominated for Young Sportsperson of the Year for 2023 and could continue to feature in these awards in the years to come.

Rounding off the list is another Limerick native in Aaron Gillane – who was named Hurler of the Year for 2023 and also picked up his fifth All-Ireland senior title with the Treaty County. 

Yet Henry Shefflin back in 2006 was the last hurler to be named RTE Sportsperson of the Year and with new betting sites offering odds of 200/1 on Gillane for this year’s award, this drought for the small ball game is set to continue.

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