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red faced RTÉ makes apology to cyclist Sam Bennett over image mix-up during awards event

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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

RTÉ has apologised to leading cyclist Sam Bennett after showing the wrong photograph of him at its prestigious sports awards ceremony last night.

The national broadcaster has explained that a “mislabelled file” was behind the wrong rider being shown.

The mishap was spotted by eagle-eyed viewers who were watching the awards ceremony in which Katie Taylor was ultimately named RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year.

The winners were announced last night on RTÉ One in a remote ceremony that celebrated the stellar performances of some of Ireland's top sports people last year.

Sam Bennett was one of the nominees for the accolade, but RTÉ inadvertently displayed an image of French rider Rémi Cavagna instead of the Carrick-on-Suir sportsman.

A spokesperson for RTE told Independent.ie: “On last night's RTÉ Sport Awards 2020 on RTÉ One, a mislabelled file resulted in an incorrect image being used for Sam Bennett.

"RTÉ Sport has reached out directly to Sam to apologise.”

Bennett's Tour de France green jersey win was one of the sporting highlights last year.

The 29-year-old emulated fellow Carrick-On-Suir man and Irish cycling legend Sean Kelly by winning the green jersey, and brought joy to the nation as a result of his efforts.

Some viewers were rather rather bemused at the mix-up in photos with the featured cyclist wearing a facemask.

One asked on social media: “Was it a test to see how many people were watching and would notice? When there are only six finalists and you put up a photo of a masked Frenchman instead of the Irish cyclist Sam Bennett!”

The contenders for the top award were announced on January 21 by RTE, and the following day, Mr Bennett said on social media: “What an honour to have made this short list.”

Meanwhile, the other four nominees for the RTE Sport 2020 Sportsperson of the Year award were: Dublin footballer Ciarán Kilkenny; Jockey Colin Keane; Limerick hurling forward Gearóid Hegarty; and rower Sanita Puspure.

Katie Taylor who has been credited with pushing women’s boxing to new heights was ultimately crowned Sportsperson of the Year for the second time at the awards. "It's truly an honour to receive this award," the Bray boxer said.


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