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2024 Sony World Photography Awards: Sport photography

2024 Sony World Photography Awards: Sport photography
'Elevator Up'. In this image, the Walnut Creek Aquanuts, one of the best artistic swimming organisations in the USA, performs several synchronised lifts of its swimmers. "As an official photographer for USA Artistic Swimming, I have the honour and pleasure of photographing these amazing athletes. Most of the time the spectators do not not get to see the amazing underwater formations that help propel the athletes to the surface where they perform stands, jumps and flips. This series highlights those underwater moments that really make the sport special." Image: © James Rokop, United States, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

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 Professional competition in the sport category.

‘Entrance’. This image shows an artistic swimming team diving into the water and starting to form a shape that will eventually look like a pyramid structure designed to lift another athlete out of the water. Image: © James Rokop, United States, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

Leszek Naziemiec and the great Alaskan river. Every day he was lubricated with a cream to prevent abrasion. Across six days in July 2023, Leszek Naziemiec, a Polish adventurer and ice swimmer, became the first person to swim 250 km of the Yukon river from Eagle to Circle. With just swimming trunks, goggles, a cap, ear plugs and a safety buoy he swam every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., taking breaks to eat and warm up. After the challenge he explained how ‘I wanted to test myself; touch something original that we had lost. Contact with nature untouched by humans was an amazing experience.’ Image: © Piotr Sadurski, Poland, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

Leszek swam every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. He covered most of the distance swimming front crawl. Image: © Piotr Sadurski, Poland, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘Ooops!’. Hana Harland (left) and Judy Duggan (right) compete during the 2023 NABBA Christchurch Classic Bodybuilding Championships. “Bodybuilding has a long tradition in New Zealand, and a huge following. I accompanied participants during the 2023 NABBA Christchurch Classic Bodybuilding Championships at McFaddens Centre, Christchurch, which is one of the biggest domestic competitions of the year. While they were sceptical at first, the athletes started to trust me after they saw me stay around for the whole day and eventually let me shoot backstage as well.” Image: © Kai Schwoerer, Germany, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘Poser’. Jo Henderson and Brendan Taylor pose for photos. Image: © Kai Schwoerer, Germany, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘Minor Series’. The Andes Chile team has different categories, from under-12 to under-18. They all train on different days at the Quebrada de Macul dirt court. The economic development that Chile has experienced in recent years contrasts with the crises that have affected neighbouring countries such as Venezuela, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This growth has resulted in a remarkable 157 percent increase in immigration to Chile, which has generated a phenomenon of acculturation in the country, as diverse customs from other nations have become intertwined. La Otra Patria (The Other Homeland) invites us to witness how immigrants from countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti and Dominican Republic, among others, defend the colours of Chile in baseball. Thanks to immigration, the sport has become more popular and achieved success at a South American level. Image: © Lucas Urenda, Chile, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘Entertainment’. Two players train for the weekend game. Image: © Lucas Urenda, Chile, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘N’Gore Boy’. A portrait of Isma in his home village, the island of N’Gore. “The Senegalese surf scene is growing fast and I’ve been there to document the life of Ismaila Samb, a young, promising surfer who is aspiring to become a professional. The surfers here don’t have the best equipment, but though they surf with old surfboards and wetsuits, their passion is above everything. My mission was to help Isma gain visibility and international recognition. After my visit he travelled outside Africa for the first time and joined the Senegalese national team taking part in the World Surfing Games in El Salvador.” Image: © Tommaso Pardini, Italy, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

‘Go!’ Isma shows off his potential to the surfers in the line-up. Image: © Tommaso Pardini, Italy, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

In September 2022, ASD Disabili Roma 2000 established a women’s team. Some women players train and play alongside the male team members as they wait for a national women’s blind football league to be organised by the Italian Federation. Football’s Vibes is a photographic project developed in Rome that aims to show how human beings can surpass the limits imposed by their physical condition. Five-a-side blind football is a team game, and the mutual support between players forms a solid foundation on which they face their titanic challenge and express their immense inner strength and unbelievable resilience. This project was produced with the ASD Disabili Roma 2000 association, which is an amateur sports association that promotes five-a-side blind football for people of all genders and ages. Image: © Lorenzo Foddai, Italy, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

Free-kicks take place in exactly the same way as they do in football for sighted players. The only exception is that before the kick, the kicking player listens to the guide’s instructions on the distance between the ball and the opponent’s goal, and on the position of the opponent’s ‘wall’. Image: © Lorenzo Foddai, Italy, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

German finger wrestling championship, Bavaria, Germany. Finger wrestling is an honest sport for real powerhouses. The rules are simple and there is hardly any trickery involved, as speed, good fingers and concentration are all that’s required. Everything is clear and simple: the strongest wins, and the best pulls everyone over the table… Image: © Angelika Jakob, Germany, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

Winner Josef Utzschneider, light-heavyweight champion of the German finger wrestling championship, TSV Halle Mittenwald, Bavaria, Germany. Image: © Angelika Jakob, Germany, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

The youngest team member is 20 years old. A couple of years ago, while serving as a Ukrainian soldier, he stepped on a landmine and lost his leg. This series documents Ukrainian veterans preparing for the 2023 Invictus Games in Germany, an annual sports competition for war veterans with traumas or disabilities. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded and disabled, and the most athletically motivated have formed Ukrainian sports teams. This series aims to show the character and emotions of these athletes in training. Image: © Oles Kromplias, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

Volleyball training. Image: © Oles Kromplias, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

“Samuel Redon and Quentin Pelmont ready to get some surfing in, in what was the most memorable surfing session we had in Iceland. Kald Sòl is a series I undertook while documenting a surf expedition in Iceland in the middle of winter, which resulted in my first documentary, with the same name. Documenting cold surfing has always appealed to me, so when I got the chance to do it, I jumped at the opportunity straight away. The black- and-white photographs reveal the cold, even when the sun is out.” Image: © Thomas Meurot, France, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024

“When you’re looking for surf in Iceland you take anything you can, big or small. Here, Samuel Redon enjoys the small, but beautiful, surf in one of the most amazing landscapes I got to witness. Image: © Thomas Meurot, France, Finalist, Professional competition, Sport, Sony World Photography Awards 2024 DM

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