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  • Recognising this year’s best sports photography: the winners of Festival Sportfolio

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    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).

     The categories

    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.

     

    Tunisian swimmer, Oussama Mellouli, Winner, winning image, sportfolio Nikon D4, 600 mm
    Caption: ‘Last Drop’ by Russian photographer, Grigory Sysoev. Shot of Tunisian swimmer, Oussama Mellouli. Nikon D4 + NIKKOR 600mm f/4.0 @ f/4.0 |600 mm | 640s | ISO 50 © Grigory Sysoev

     

    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.

    As Grand Prix winner, Grigory Sysoev receives the new flagship Nikon DSLR, the D5, an AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens, and €8,000.

     

    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.

     

    Grand Prix runner-up, French photographer William Dupuy. Nikon D700 + NIKKOR 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 | 70mm | 1/250s | ISO 500 © William Dupuy
    Grand Prix runner-up, French photographer William Dupuy. Nikon D700 + NIKKOR 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 | 70mm | 1/250s | ISO 500 © William Dupuy

     

    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.

     

    Grand Prix runner-up, French photographer. Romain Perrocheau , shot this portrait of Adamou (Gambo). Canon EOS-1D X. © Romain Perrocheau
    Grand Prix runner-up, French photographer. Romain Perrocheau , shot this portrait of Adamou (Gambo). Canon EOS-1D X. © Romain Perrocheau

     

     

     

    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.

     

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND JULY Ellie Cole of Australia dives into the pool during Day Seven of The IPC Swimming World Championships at Tollcross Swimming Centre on July 19, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images, Local Caption, Ellie Cole
    British photographer Ian Macnicol took gold for this shot of Ellie Cole, of Australia, diving into the pool during Day Seven of The IPC Swimming World Championships at Tollcross Swimming Centre on July 19, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Canon EOS-1D X © Ian MacNicol/Getty Images.

     

    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.

     

     Vladimir Pesnya Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron winning image silver Sportofilio Nikon D4, танцы, произвольная программа пападакис/сизерон
    Russian photographer, Vladimir Pesnya, won the silver medal for his of French ice skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. Nikon D4 + NIKKOR 600.0 mm f/4.0 @ f/4.0 | 600mm | 1/1600s | ISO 6400s © Vladimir Pesnya

     

    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.

     

    Real's Rudy Fernandez and Olympiacos's Othello Hunter, right, during the final match between Real Madrid Baloncesto Alexei Filippov Sportfoilio winner bronze D4
    Russian photographer. Alexei Filippov, won the bronze medal for this shot of Real’s Rudy Fernandez and Olympiacos’s Othello Hunter, right, during the final match between Real Madrid Baloncesto (Spain) and Olympiacos Piraeus B.C. (Greece) at the Euroleague Final Four basketball championship. Nikon D4 + NIKKOR 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 @ f/4.0 | 92.0 mm | 1/1000s | ISO 200 © Alexei Filippov


     

    ‘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.

    competitors run through mud during the Tough Guy event in Perton, central England February 1, 2015, SPORT SOCCER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    Reuters’ photographer Phil Noble ‘most unusual’ photo for the News/Action category for this shot of competitors running through mud during the Tough Guy event in Perton, central England February 1, 2015. The annual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors in a cross country run followed by an assault course consisting of obstacles including water, fire and tunnels. © REUTERS/Phil Noble.

     

    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.

     

    World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Sportfolio winning unusal Gabriella Douglas of United States competes on the Uneven Bars during day seven of World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Local Caption abriella Douglas
    Ian Macnicol won gold in the News/Action category for the photo of gymnast Gabriella Douglas of United States as she competed on the Uneven Bars during day seven of World Artistic Gymnastics Championships at The SSE Hydro on October 29, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland, October 29. Canon EOS-1D X © Ian MacNicol/Getty images

     

    Motorsport photographer Sarah Vessely wins the bronze medal in this category for her image of racing driver Robert Kubica.

     

    Race car fans reaching out Robert Kubica Mikolajki - Rallye de Pologne WRC - Robert Kubica - Photo : Sarah Vessely pour l'agence McKlein Photography
    Motorsport photographer Sarah Vessely walked away with the bronze medal for this shot of fans greeting racing driver Robert Kubica, Rally de Pologne WRC, June 4. © Sarah Vessely/McKlein Photography.

    Sportfolio winner: Insolite' (Unusual) by FEI Maohua won silver in the Unusual category
    Sportfolio winner: FEI Maohua won siliver for ‘Insolite’ in the Unusual category – a shot of flying shadows. Canon EOS-1D X © FEI Maohua

     

     

    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.

    Winning image Super Lightweight Championship Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Mendoza sport photography boxer black and white Sportfolio
    Silver-medallist, Pedro Luis Ajuria Saiz’s winning shot of boxer Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Mendoza during the Super Lightweight Championship. Nikon D90 + NIKKOR 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ f/5.3 | 95.0 mm | 1/400s | ISO 2000. © Pedro Luis Ajuria Saiz.

     

    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.

    Usain Bolt Jamaica gestures towards the photographers before his men's 200 metres heat at the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing China
    British photographer Phil Noble walks away with bronze medal for this shot of Usain Bolt of Jamaica gestures towards the photographers before his men’s 200 metres heat at the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 25, 2015 © Phil Noble/Reuters.

     

     

     

    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.

     

    Reportage winning image former fighter children Congo Life is a Struggle Kibomango
    French photographer, William Dupuy, won gold in the Reportage category for ‘Life is a Struggle’: a shot of former fighter, Kibomango, and the children he trains in the Congo. Nikon D700 + NIKKOR 40.0 mm f/2.0 @ f/3.2| 40.0mm | 1/16400s | ISO 200 © William Dupuy.

     

    The reportage category has two French photographers finishing on the podium, with photojournalist Julien Goldstein taking the silver medal.

     

    One of the winning images by silver medallist Julien Goldstein. Rachid Mayoka, player of Kibera Black Stars in his home. Nairobi, Kenya. March 2015. Canon EOS 5D Mark III © Julien Goldstein.
    One of the winning images by silver medallist Julien Goldstein. Rachid Mayoka, player of Kibera Black Stars in his home. Nairobi, Kenya. March 2015. Canon EOS 5D Mark III © Julien Goldstein.

     

    The bronze medallist for Reportage is Swedish pro Daniel Nilsson.

     

    Bronze medallist for Reportage, Swedish pro Daniel Nilsson, shot this image of 'When the team was looking for a new coach someone suggested this woman from Sweden. At first it was totally unacceptable to have a female coach, says Anna. But thanks to her efforts the team has advanced from being an average team to be able to advance in the league tables. The team is now located in the SAB League, the highest of the district.' Canon EOS 5D Mark III. © Daniel Nilsson
    Bronze medallist for Reportage, Swedish pro Daniel Nilsson, shot this image of ‘coach Anna’. ‘When the team was looking for a new coach someone suggested this woman from Sweden. At first it was totally unacceptable to have a female coach, says Anna. But thanks to her efforts the team has advanced from being an average team to be able to advance in the league tables. The team is now located in the SAB League, the highest of the district.’ Canon EOS 5D Mark III. © 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.