From ecstatic moments of celebration, to heart-wrenching defeat and everything in between, sports photography captures the full spectrum of human emotion.
The first of its kind, Sportfolio is a festival dedicated to celebrating the professionals behind the inspiring photos we see, and we’re proud to sponsor this event.
Now in its third year, this international competition covers the following categories and is open to anyone in the field of sport photography (whether freelance, linked to an agency or media title).
There are four distinct categories in Festival Sportfolio’s competition
- News/Action covers the adrenaline-fuelled moments of sport
- Portrait is the home for stunning shots of an athlete or sports personality
- Reportage is about sport’s role in society
- Unusual is for the surprising, unexpected and bizarre moments
After receiving hundreds of submissions this year, the jury had to deliberate for hours before selecting the most outstanding images and we are delighted to reveal the winners they chose. Enjoy!
The Grand Prix Winner
The Grand Prix is chosen by the jury as the most beautiful and emotive image entered into the competition under any category.
This year, the top honour goes to Russian photographer, Grigory Sysoev, for his photo of the Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli.
This winning image captures Olympic medallist, Oussama, drinking in vital fluids as he swims in the men’s 10 km open water race at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan.
The runners-up in the Grand Prix are two French photographers. William Dupuy impressed the jury with his beautifully composed shot of a young boxer.
Romain Perrocheau is the other runner-up, with his incredible black and white photo of Cameroonian rugby player Gambo Adamou. This stunning shot also triumphed in the portrait category, taking the gold medal.
News/Action: the winners
British photographer Ian Macnicol took gold in the News/Action category with this beautiful bird’s eye view photo. The contrast and composition are perfect in this photo of Australian Paralympian swimmer Ellie Cole competing in Glasgow.
Russian photographers stood out in this category with Vladimir Pesnya and Alexei Filippov taking the silver and bronze awards.
The grace and beauty of Vladimir’s image of French ice skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron impressed the judges, earning the silver medal.
Alexei’s shot captures the passion involved in the Euroleague Final Four basketball match, catching Real Madrid’s Rudy Fernandez and Olimpiacos’ Othello Hunter as they fight for possession of the ball.
‘Unusual’: the winners
Sometimes you capture a moment on film that is unexpected, unpredictable, and that you’ll never be able to repeat no matter how hard you try. The ‘unusual’ category is the perfect home for these images.
Reuters’ photographer Phil Noble’s submission epitomises “unusual”.
The muddy ‘Tough Guy’ event in England captures competitors trawling through the tough conditions, accompanied by an oddity: a refined gentleman running the course dressed in a suit and tie.
The gold medallist for the News/Action category, also took silver in this category with his beautiful photo of gymnast Gabriella Douglas.
Taken by Ian Macnicol at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the photo’s focus is not the athlete. Instead, it’s the heart shape that she made in the air with the chalk from her hands when competing on the uneven bars.
Motorsport photographer Sarah Vessely wins the bronze medal in this category for her image of racing driver Robert Kubica.
Portraits: the winners
The gold medal for Portraits goes to Romain Perrocheau’s monochrome shot of the rubgy player Gambo Adamou. Adamou’s exhaustion is clear in this image that was also runner-up for the Grand Prix prize.
Spain’s Pedro Luis Ajuria Saiz won the silver medal for his portrait of boxer Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Mendoza taken in the ring during the Super Lightweight Championship.
A sports photography competition wouldn’t be complete without a portrait of the legendary athlete Usain Bolt.
After taking gold in the Unusual category, British photographer Phil Noble added to his trophy cabinet by taking bronze in this one. In this incredible ‘photo within a photo’ of Bolt, you can see him below gesturing to the photographers before his 200m heat at the World Championships in Beijing.
Reportage: the winners
William Dupuy’s photo ‘Life is a Struggle’ wins the gold in the Reportage category. This gold medal winning photo was also a runner-up for the Grand Prix.
The French photographer revealed the story behind the photo in which Kibomango is pictured with the children he trains in the Congo. A former fighter himself, after being struck by shrapnel and damaging various body parts, his face, and one of his eyes, Kibomango now helps rescue street children from poverty by training them instead.
The reportage category has two French photographers finishing on the podium, with photojournalist Julien Goldstein taking the silver medal.
The bronze medallist for Reportage is Swedish pro Daniel Nilsson.
If you’ve enjoyed discovering the winners of Sportfolio, the French town of Narbonne will be hosting 14 free exhibitions of 500 large scale images from May 27th to June 19th. Over the weekend of May 28th-31st, the town will also host workshops, conferences, and lectures available for professional photographers. Read more about the exhibitions here.