No surprise the Kilbrittain hammer thrower Nicola Tuthill has mentions for Darragh McElhinney and Jane Buckley, as well as her mother’s home cooking!
If you could relive one sporting moment from the past year, what would it be and why? Throwing a personal best at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia. After having an extremely challenging year with injury and the unknown on how well I would recover it really meant a lot just to get out there. To qualify for the final is everything I had dreamed. Not just for me but also for the many people around me throughout the whole process.
Help needed: Olympic and World rowing champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy need two more people to fill out their lightweight four – pick two West Cork sportspeople to make this boat unbeatable? Darragh McElhinney would have the endurance from all the miles he puts in running. Gavin Coombes would have the physical strength that all rowers need.
What will you miss most about 2022? Honestly, my mother’s home cooked dinners! I am now in college in UCD on an Ad Astra Sport Scholarship. It's a big change and I am really happy there but it has really made me realise how lucky I was to be able to run in from school or training with a dinner made for me so I could sprint off to get my homework or something else done.
Who do you think is West Cork’s biggest sports star? Paul O'Donovan. In the past few years the rowers have taken over the headlines with win after win at all levels both on a world stage and European stage.
Outside of your sport, what sporting moment from 2022 captured your imagination? Rhys McClenaghan winning world gold on the pommel horse. He is the first Irish gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships, and that was a ground-breaking performance for Irish gymnasts.
Which local sports star should we keep an eye on in 2023? In athletics, it’s Jane Buckley. She has had such a breakthrough in the past year and is doing really well in America at the moment. She is so modest about it all, but I hope there are big things to come in her future.
Those January blues are upon us, what’s your advice to survive the month? Get out and stay active. Doing any sport, you are going to meet people with similar interests to yourself and it can really lift your spirits and brighten up your day.
Finish this sentence: In 2023 I want to … have an injury-free, uninterrupted year of training and hopefully make the European U23 Championships. It is obviously a big jump up from U20 to U23 especially since I have a December birthday but I’ll aim to qualify for those championships if possible.