THREE top-class athletes were honoured at The Echo Women in Sport awards in the Cork Airport Hotel.
Boxer Christina Desmond, cyclist Grace Young and handballer Catriona Casey were recognised for their achievements in the first quarter of 2019 at a function in the hotel.
The Echo sports editor John McHale revealed the three award winners for the quarter beat off some stiff competition before being selected by the judges.
"We had a fantastic start to the sporting year which proved once again why Cork is the sporting capital of Ireland."
Macroom Boxing Club southpaw Desmond has her sights set on qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and as the current Irish Elite champion has every chance.
Desmond, whose brothers are noted Gaelic footballers for Cill na Martra, is a 15-time Irish champion and European Elite medallist and this was her second time being recognised at The Echo awards.
Grace Young has had a hectic few months having linked up with the Strata3 VeloRevolution Cycling Team.
Previously a member of the De Ronde Van Cork Cycling Club, she's already shown her class after stepping up, winning the first race for VeloRevolution in the National Women's League – the Des Hanlon Memorial.
“When the opportunity to join them it was one I couldn't turn down, as they are a racing team, with 11 men and three women cyclists," she explained.
“Thankfully I had a great start and managed to win my first race for the team and after the second race I'm still in pole position. There is a long way to go yet, with five more races, and the next one isn't until June in Northern Ireland.”
Catriona Casey has featured regularly in these pages due to her excellence as a handballer and got 2019 off to a winning start.
The Ballydesmond native has been involved in some great battles with Martina McMahon from Limerick and landed the All-Ireland Four-Wall senior singles final earlier this year. The 25-year-old Dublin based primary school-teacher prevailed after a gruelling two-hour battle for her fourth title.
“I was happy with how my fitness held in what was a very, very long match and how I kept a cool head when things weren't going my way," she stated.
It was particularly sweet as her Shannonside rival had the upper hand in 2018.
“Martina had an amazing 12 months which meant I had a pretty terrible time of it. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't very difficult psychologically, but I kept working hard to get back here.
"I reckon I still have room for improvement, so, hopefully, there are more titles to come."
Back in January Casey picked up her fifth crown in the sixth edition of the She's Ace national ranking event.