Reuters Australian chief photographer, David Gray, has won the 2022 World Sports Photography Awards for his picture of Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, removing a butterfly from her dress during a match.
Gray captured the picture at the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne, and was selected by judges from among the 24 winning categories.
‘This is a breath-taking image,’ said World Sports Photography Awards co-founder, Simon Burton. ‘Sports Photography captures special moments and tells unique stories, but most of all it draws you in and reveals the unexpected. It forces you to look again and reconsider.’
Gray’s aim with photography is to find a ‘a unique visual perspective’, his bio states, which he achieved by focussing on the shadow showing the butterfly while Osaka appears hunched in a play position.
Gray began his photography career in 1989 working as a cadet for The Australian, and in 1995 he joined Reuters. However, his passion for photography much earlier. Back when playing school cricket, he’d photograph the game between batting and fielding. It’s the second time that photographing Osaka at the Australian Open has garnered a result for Gray, who came second in the 2019 World Press Photo Sports Category for an image of the tennis star.
And while best known for his sports photography, Gray also captures general news stories. In 2020 he won the Nikon-Walkley Contemporary Australian Daily Life prize for his series, Dealing With Drought.
More than 7000 entries were submitted to the World Sports Photography Awards, which is free to enter and now in its third year. It’s not clear what prize Gray, or other the category winners, won, as the information isn’t listed on the website.
But the category winning gallery is a terrific selection of sports images. Here is a selection: