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The World Sports Photography Awards announce the winners

Dirt and dust fly behind the squeaky wheels of a racing car. The crowd goes wild as cyclists round the corner in a small Italian town. A football team celebrates on the field. Here are some of the emotions and scenes captured this year World Sports Photography Awards (WSPA) winning images.

“The influence and power of sport is unparalleled. It represents the best of human endeavor,” the WSPA writes on its website. “It transcends language and borders. It inspires, it moves, it delights. The World Sports Photography Awards celebrate the incredible power of sport to touch our lives and the incredible power of photography to capture and communicate those moments.

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About the World Sports Photography Awards

The competition is open to professional and semi-professional photographers as well as agencies specializing in sports photography. It’s free and each participant can submit up to 20 images. A separate amateur competition is judged later in the year.

Entrants can enter photographs in a variety of categories (24 in total), including American football, boxing, cricket, horse riding, motorsports, baseball, and more. The extensive judging panel includes experts from sports media, sports federations, sports commissions, marketing agencies and associations such as the NBA, FIFA, NFL and MLB.

In keeping with sporting tradition, the World Sports Photography Awards have gold, silver and bronze awards. Here are some of our favorite images in the gold category.

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Our favorites

Samuel Barnes, Gold Medalist, Athletics

The rain adds playful mayhem to the athletes’ jubilant celebration. Samuel Barnes

This image shows pure joy, victory, relief and chaos. From the jubilant expressions of the athletes to the raindrops that add to the frenzy, you can taste the triumph.

Muhammad Arbaz, gold medalist, cricket

world sports photography awards
A solar flare brings heat to a game of cricket. mohamed arbaz

It’s the way the glare of the sun seems to punctuate the portrait of a swinging cricketer that gives this image a compelling tone.

Ashley & Jered Gruber, gold medalists, cycling

world sports photography awards cycling
Often in sports, the crowd is just as important to the stage as the athletes. Ashley and Jered Gruber

You can feel the excitement of the crowd cheering on the cyclists. I found this photo interesting because it highlights not only the athletes but also the spectators who are often crucial for the atmosphere of an event.

Mike Egerton, Gold Medalist, Equestrian

world sports photography awards horse racing
Mud flies on the running track. Mike Egerton

Look at the flying mud! Since horse racing is often seen from afar, this close perspective perfectly captures the mad dash to the finish line.

Eloisa Sanchez de Alba, gold medalist, soccer

world football soccer sports photography awards
A player jumps for joy after a victorious game. Eloise Sanchez de Alba

Smoke, sparks and general rejoicing all paint a great scene, but it’s the decisive move of an incredibly happy player jumping for joy that makes this image a gold medal winner.

Marian Chytka, Gold Medalist, Motorsport

world sports photography awards motor racing
A racing car leaves a trail of dust and debris. Marianne Chytka

In the winners gallery, what attracted me were the unconventional sports photos, emphasizing details that could be seen as an afterthought. In motorsport, it’s easy to just focus on the vehicles, no matter how flashy. But this one tells a pretty cool story in the dust it leaves behind.

Donald Miralle, gold medalist, racquet sports

world sports photography awards ping pong
The quiet silence before a game. Donald Miralle

The focus, stillness and concentration drew me to this photo. The ping pong ball floats a fraction of a second before the match starts, a pocket of calm before an intense match.

Morgan Treacy, Gold Medalist, Urban and Extreme

world cliff diving sports photography awards
Take a daredevil dive from a cliff. Morgan’s Treaty

Sapphire waters crash against the cliff. A line of spectators watches. Free fall solo in the ocean. In a way, all the elements come together for a breathtaking calm.

Morgan Treacy, Gold Medalist, Water

world rowing sports photography awards
The determined face of a rower pierces the wall of water. Morgan’s Treaty

Another perspective rarely seen in the world of water sports. I love the way the rower’s face cuts through the droplets with sheer determination.

How to enter the next World Sports Photography Awards

The deadline for the professional category of the World Sports Photography Awards is March 6. Visit the website for more information on amateur competition and next year’s schedule.