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PHOTOGRAPHY

2022 Sony World Photography Awards: Sport

2022 Sony World Photography Awards: Sport
"Kuarup". Kuikuro fighters from Huka-huka present themselves for the final competition. The Kuarup is a ritual of the Xingu Indigenous Brazilian to honour the illustrious dead – it is the farewell and closing of a mourning period. The celebration takes place once a year in different villages and lasts for three days. The highlight of this celebration is a competition of a martial art called Huka-huka, similar to the Greco-Roman wrestling fight, which has competitive symbolism that shows the strength and virility of the young men. These photographs were taken during a Kuarup celebration in the Afukuri village of the Kuikuro ethnic group. This year’s ritual honoured the people who lost their lives between the years 2020 and 2021: four of five were victims of Covid-19. © Ricardo Teles, Brazil, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Now in its 15th year, the Sony World Photography Awards returns to celebrate contemporary photography and the ways the arts reflect the world around us. Here is a selection of the images from the winners of this year's national awards in the sport category.

Huka-huka’s competitive opening fight. The Kuarup is a ritual of the Xingu Indigenous Brazilian to honour the illustrious dead – it is the farewell and closing of a mourning period. The celebration takes place once a year in different villages and lasts for three days. The highlight of this celebration is a competition of a martial art called Huka-huka, similar to the Greco-Roman wrestling fight, which has competitive symbolism that shows the strength and virility of the young men. These photographs were taken during a Kuarup celebration in the Afukuri village of the Kuikuro ethnic group. This year’s ritual honoured the people who lost their lives between the years 2020 and 2021: four of five were victims of Covid-19. © Ricardo Teles, Brazil, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

“Take-Off!” Jonas Schomburg of Germany takes off as he dives into the water during the men’s triathlon on 26 July at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were postponed for one year and held under really unusual circumstances. Athletes and media were kept inside a bubble and tested every day, with no fans able to witness the greatest sporting show on earth. This series takes a look at the Olympic and Paralympic sports that I was assigned to cover in Tokyo. I tried to find unique and challenging angles to minimise the visual impact of not having a crowd or any fans (and atmosphere) and also to illustrate the beauty and strength of the athletes and sports as well as their emotions from slightly different angles. It was perhaps the most challenging Olympics I have ever been part of, and I can only imagine what a roller coaster of emotions the athletes were experiencing. I was very grateful when these emotions spilled over in the heat of competition. © Adam Pretty, Australia, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

“Pure Joy”. Veronica Yoko Plebani of Italy is overcome with joy after crossing the finish line at Odaiba Marine Park and winning the bronze medal in the women’s PTS2 triathlon on 28 August – day four of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. © Adam Pretty, Australia, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Asiya Mohammed rows a boat during her training session in Mombasa, Kenya on 26 July, 2021, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Twenty-nine-year-old Asiya Mohammed is a para rower who became the first Kenyan woman ever to attend the Olympics after earning a ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Initially a para tennis player at international level, Asiya Mohammed has overcome many challenges as a physically disabled woman and orphan in Kenya, and has struggled to get funding and support. She has been living and training with her team in a hotel complex in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, focusing on intense preparation for the Paralympic Games after qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 – only two years after developing interest in the sport of rowing. She dreamed of attending an Olympics Game, and opened the way for many other women in her country. © Luis Tato, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Asiya Mohammed lifts weights during her gym session at Tudor Water Sports Hotel in Mombasa. © Luis Tato, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Zhang Zhilei walks to the ring to face Craig Lewis in their heavyweight bout at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight appeared on the undercard of new unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr’s upset win over Teofimo Lopez that day. This was the first time that Zhang had made his appearance in a pro boxing fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden. Zhang Zhilei, a Chinese heavyweight boxer who claimed the men’s super heavyweight (+91kg) silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games and bronze medals at world championships, made his professional boxing debut in the United States in 2014. In November 2021, Zhang was ranked ninth by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) in its heavyweight rankings. He is currently the only Chinese heavyweight pro boxer in America. As a reporter, I have had the chance to capture a few moments of Zhang, aka ‘Big Bang’, and recorded his training, competitions and daily life. © Pan Liao, China, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Zhang Zhilei finishes Craig Lewis in their heavyweight boxing match on the Lopez-Kambosos undercard at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, notching his 23rd win since he went pro in America. © Pan Liao, China, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

“I’ve been told that I won’t get anywhere. Today I answer by playing football,” says 26-year-old Giza Proença, an amateur player. For the first time in history, players of indigenous origin participate in the women’s state championship in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. Lacking sponsorship and financial support from government programmes, and far from the eyes of the general public, dozens of players at levels ranging from amateur to professional show up hoping for a chance to be discovered by a bigger team.’Gurias do Yucumã, a team from the city of Tenente Portela, does not have a playing field and trains only once a week. Among the athletes, two are indigenous Kaingang: Giza Proença and Claudinéia Ribeiro, who live in Reserva da Guarita in the northwest of the state. On training day, both travel 18km and when it is not possible, they send videos of themselves training at home so the coaches can give feedback. To mark the first time that indigenous athletes participate in an official championship, Giza and Claudinéia painted their legs, arms and faces with drawings characteristic of their ethnicity, to face the Internacional, a traditional and wealthy Brazilian club that has already won the world news by winning the World Championships playing against Barcelona. © André Pitome Ávila, Brazil, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

The Yucumã girls hug each other during a prayer before the match. © André Pitome Ávila, Brazil, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Two wrestlers face off – one in a dominant position on top of the other, in the finals of the men’s wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. Capturing the wrestling finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August 2021 was one of the highlights of my Games coverage. It’s one of the original sports from the Ancient Olympics and it’s a great show of strength, toughness, resilience and skill. I shot this event for my client and made sure I captured the combative nature, strength and raw emotion of the great ancient art of wrestling. © Bradley Kanaris, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Wrestlers battle for submission in the finals of the men’s wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. © Bradley Kanaris, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

“Hunger.” When hitting doesn’t do the job, biting comes next. This series depicts the arduous drive and passion that exists in the world of wrestling, and is a testament to the wrestlers who endure great pain in their quest for glory. The series covers various matches of wrestling that took place in the state of Querétaro in Mexico in 2021. It’s an attempt to portray Mexico’s signature sport, the colours and culture of the wrestling ring and the professional dedication of the wrestlers. All the images were shot with an 18-55mm lens and a medium format camera. © Jesús Arvizu, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

“Icons.” The icons of wrestling: the masks and costumes are the essence of Mexican wrestling. © Jesús Arvizu, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards DM/ ML

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