Highest-rated Irish pentathlete internationally wins overall 2018 South East Sports Star Award

Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe was crowned the overall winner of the Beat South East Sports Star Awards

Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe was crowned the overall winner of the Beat South East Sports Star Awards

Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe was crowned the overall winner of the Beat South East Sports Star Awards on Thursday (January 17) at The Set Theatre in Langton House Hotel, Kilkenny.

The May monthly nominee beat stiff competition to claim the overall award in what was a celebration of South East sporting success.

Kilkenny’s Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe has made waves in the modern pentathlete scene over the past 12 months, culminating in a World Cup gold medal in May. The 27-year-old is now the highest ranked athlete in his field and highest rated Irish sportsperson internationally.

This year’s event witnessed a change of venue to The Set Theatre at Langton House Hotel Kilkenny, with four-time All-Ireland camogie title winner and television personality Anna Geary joining Beat Breakfast’s Vincent Bradley on stage as the special guest.

This year's list of nominees - all voted for by the public in monthly online polls on - showcased the diverse array of sports that continue to thrive across Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary.

Here is the full list of 2018 South East Sports Star nominees:

January: Presentation Convent Clonmel - All-Ireland schools first year spikeball team (Tipperary)
February (joint): Marble City Hawks, Division 1 National League winners (Kilkenny)
February (joint): Craig Breen - WRC runner-up at Rally Sweden (Kilkenny)
March: Wexford Wanderers RFC – Leinster League Division 2B winners (Wexford)
April: Tramore AFC Under-18s – FAI Youth Cup champions (Waterford)
May: Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe – Pentathlon World Cup gold (Kilkenny)
June: David Gahan – world karate champion (Waterford)
July: Richie Ryan – Irish Superbike champion (Kilkenny)
August: Thomas Barr – European 400m Hurdles bronze medallist (Waterford)
September: Kate Veale - international sprint triathlon of race walking winner (Waterford)
October: Wexford Youths Women – National League and Cup champions (Wexford)
November: Old Leighlin Ladies Footballers – Leinster junior champions (Carlow)
Wildcard: Carlow Senior Hurlers – National League Division 2A and Joe McDonagh Cup winners (Carlow).

The South East Sports Star Awards have been running since 2006 and past overall winners include international footballer Kevin Doyle, Ireland rugby star Niamh Briggs and Olympian Thomas Barr.

On winning the award, Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe said: “I just want to say thank you so much. It’s such a massive honour for me to win this award. I was thinking to myself how I would get through training this week and this is just going to give me a massive pep in my step. Even though I train in Dublin, I’m born and raised in Kilkenny. I’m speechless – this means the world to me.”

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