Photo of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in tears wins World Sports Photography Award

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in black and white
Boys Don't Cry - Gold winner (Image credit: Neha Ganeriwal)

In sports photography, an image often goes beyond just capturing a moment; it weaves a narrative that resonates not only with athletes' capabilities but with emotions we ourselves as viewers can relate to. In a stunning departure from conventional sports photography, the winner of this year’s World Sports Photography Award taken by Neha Ganeriwal captures Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in tears holding hands showing a softer side of elite athleticism. 

Ganeriwal’s emotive black and white titled Boys Don't Cry shot was chosen as the winner from more than 800 entries submitted by Independent Photographers to the prestigious World Sports Photography Awards 2023. Sponsored by MBP, the awards have become a beacon for acknowledging excellence in the field of sports photography, culminating in a celebration of the finest snapshots that encapsulate the spirit of sportsmanship.

• Check out the best cameras for sports photography with a super-fast continuous burst mode for capturing fast actions sport

Snowmeo and Juliet - Special Merit (Image credit: Olly Bowman)

The World Sports Photography Awards distinguishes itself as the sole global recognition platform dedicated to honoring the craft of sports photography. The entries, submitted by the crème de la crème of sports photographers worldwide, are meticulously evaluated by luminaries hailing from the realms of sports, media, branding, and creativity. Sponsored by IMAGO a global visual content provider with more than 300 million images and videos for the sports, media and entertainment industry it is one of the largest producers of sports content in Europe. 

These awards serve a dual purpose: not only do they spotlight remarkable sports visuals but also the masterful photographers behind the lens. Each photograph narrates a tale of fervor, ardor, prowess, and concentration, all of which are at the very heart of the sporting world.

Stop War - Special Merit (Image credit: Nikolay Synelnykov)

Andrés Benedicto, the Director of International Partnerships and Sports Content at IMAGO, shared his thoughts on the arduous task of selecting a winner amidst such high standards. 

He noted, "It was not an easy endeavor to find a winner due to the high standards. It is really gratifying to see that there are high-quality, independent photographers documenting sporting spectacles across the globe. Through their lens, history stands frozen in awe-inspiring frames. This reassures us that the industry is in good hands.” He extended his gratitude to all those who entered and allowed us to view the sporting world through their unique lens. 

To view the top 10 winners from each category as well as the standout independent photographer imager head to the World Sports Photography Awards website.

19th FINA World Championships (Image credit: Gabriel Monnet)

Eyes of the Horse - Silver prize winner (Image credit: Mrs Evo (Jenny Evans))

Also check out the best lens for sports photography including a range of super telephoto zooms perfect for capturing up-close action from a distance

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.