When Gina Akpe-Moses won the European U20 100-metre final last summer she was propelled into the collective consciousness of the Irish sporting audience. That looks as if it was just the beginning.
It was great to see the 18-year-old at the Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year Lunch, great to see her at the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year, greater still to see her stepping up for the launch she was at, centre stage in London this week.
This week in London she was one of two brand ambassadors unveiled by none other than Under Armour for their biggest ever launch of a new running shoe, the Hovr.
That he did so alongside Arsenal’s €30 Million star midfielder Granit Xhaka is an indication of just how far she has come in terms of marketability.
Under Armour’s athlete roster does not do second best. Tom Brady and Michael Phelps are two of the best-known athletes in the world. Akpe-Moses is in the same room.
Her off-track career is being managed by Derry Hatch of Silverhatch Sports and he believes she is a real star.
“When Under Armour look to have brand ambassadors around a major line they take a lot into account,” he told us from the launch in London on Wednesday night. “Gina has a great story and she is competing at the very top of her sport. They like winners and they have got one in her.”