THE cream of the crop of the excellent female sporting talent in Cork was recognised today at the annual Evening Echo Ladies Sports Star Awards in the Ambassador Hotel.
It is an event which shows the plethora of talented sports women there is on Leeside, something that was highlighted by the calibre of quarterly award winners.
The overall award, the Evening Echo Ladies Supreme Sports Star of the year accolade, went to Rower Sanita Puspure.
2018 was an unforgettable year for the Latvian born and Cork-based woman, who secured a gold medal at the World Championships in Bulgaria.
Puspure now has the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 very firmly in her sights.
She has unfinished business at the Olympics.
In Rio 2016, Puspure finished in 4th place in her heat to miss out on a semi-final place by 0.65 of a second.
Gemma O’Connor was the recipient of the special achievement award, recognising her feat of winning her 11th All-Star and ninth All-Ireland medal.
She now has the most All-Stars in camogie history.
O’Connor is heading into her 18th inter county campaign, after first joining the Cork squad in 2002.
Her decision to commit for another year is a massive boost to the All Ireland champions Cork, who are seeking to win the county’s first O’Duffy Cup three-in-a-row since 1973.
Meanwhile, the Evening Echo ladies Sports Star Hall Of Fame inductee was Phil Allen of St Anne’s Pitch and Putt club.
Evening Echo Sports Editor John McHale said: “This event showcases all that is good about and unquestionably the strength of women’s sport in Cork.
“An event such as this once again hits home the very high standard of female sporting athletes we have on Leeside.
“The Evening Echo always strive to give women’s sport the coverage it deserves and an event such as this highlights this.”
Phil Healy(Athletics), Margaret Cremin(Rowing) , Nathalie O’Brien(Soccer), Ashling Thompson(Camogie), Melissa Duggan(Ladies Football), Sanita Puspure(Rowing), Saoirse McCarthy(Camogie), Leanne Murphy(Boxing), Laura Lynch(Soccer) , Doireann O’Sullivan(Ladies Football), Yvonne O’Byrne & Roisin Upton(Hockey), Lizzie Lee(Athletics)