World Sports Photography Awards 2021: The Best Sports Photos Captured Over the Past 25 Years

With sport mothballed for the best part of the last 12 months, the awards criteria was extended to allow entries from across the past 25 years for any of the 26 categories. The competition is intended for professional and semi-professional sport photographers plus specialist sports photographic agencies. With the wider timeframe there were four times as many entries as normal.


Special Merit Award. The Race to the Sun (2018). Paris – Nice cycling race. (Photo by James Startt/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)

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Special Merit Award. Mallory Franklin (2019). The British slalom canoeist has competed internationally since 2009 and won nine medals in total at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with four golds, four silvers and a bronze. She has also won eleven medals at the European Championships. (Photo by Richard Pelham/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Special Merit Award. Not Today (2014). Lionel Messi looks wistfully at the trophy following Argentina’s defeat to Germany in the World Cup final. (Photo by Daria Isaeva/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Special Merit Award. Paralympic Swimmer (2004). Spain’s Xavier Torres dives into the pool. (Photo by Bob Martin/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Special Merit Award. The Notorious (2017). Conor McGregor acknowledges the crowd after a UFC fight in 2017. (Photo by John Barry/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Special Merit Award. Simone Biles (2019). The 2016 Olympic four-time gold medalist, four-time world all-around champion, four-time world floor exercise champion, two-time world balance beam champion, in action at The Superstars of Gymnastics at London’s O2 Arena. (Photo by Marc Aspland/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Special Merit Award. The Star of All-Stars (2020). All eyes are on LeBron James during the NBA All-Star game. (Photo by Yip Lampson Karmin/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Bronze Award. In The Firing Line (2010). Tiger Woods hits photographer Mark Pain during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. (Photo by Mark Pain/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Silver Award. The Smile (2016). Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the men’s 100m semi-final at the Rio Olympics. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)


Gold Award. Focus (2017). Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. (Photo by James Gourley/World Sports Photography Awards 2021)

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