A Wexford man has been shortlisted for the 'Greatest Athlete of All Time' award at the World Games for his dedication to tug of war.

James Kehoe from Boley Tug of War club is the only Irish athlete among 24 nominees from different sports.

Yesterday, he made the final ten and is relying on the Irish public to get behind him to pull him over the line.

Throughout his sporting career spanning four decades, Kehoe has won nine World Games medals, dozens of European accolades and he has over 100 national titles to his name.

While in many parts of the country, tug of war has featured as a novelty activity at family fun days, it is still a very popular sport in Kehoe's home county.

"There was always tug of war in this area, dating back as far as the 60s," he said.

"My brothers and neighbours and cousins were all involved."

A farmer and contractor by trade, Kehoe is the first nominee to represent the tug of war competition in the World Games' Greatest Athlete of All Time contest and has already received over 47,000 votes on the public voting system.

However, there is an uphill battle ahead of him as Russian sumo wrestler Batyr Altyev currently has over 90,000 votes.

Kehoe should be training for the World Games, which is usually held the year after the Olympic Games, but due to the pandemic he will have another year to wait before he gets to represent Ireland for a tenth time on the world stage.

He has performed in every World Games competition since 1981 and even holds the record for the longest pull on a rope at 55 minutes and 17 seconds.

Kehoe will be keeping his head down with the hopes of competing again later in the year.

"I train twice a week and it's intense. I'll be lifting and pulling weights, the work on the farm doesn't cut it on its own," he said.