Doha, 14 June 2022 - Sports journalists from all over the world were rewarded for their outstanding work as Doha yesterday hosted spectacular AIPS Sport Media Awards 2022 in an open-air ceremony at the Khalifa International Stadium – a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venue.
H E Sheikh Faisal bin Ahmed Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Sports Press Committee (QSPC), Saad Al Rumaihi, President of the Qatar Press Center, Gianni Merlo, President of International Sports Press Association (AIPS), and journalists from across the globe attended the ceremony.
The AIPS organised the ceremony in partnership with QSPC as part of a shared drive to invest in culture and sport journalism.
More than 30 reporters, photographers and videographers were honoured during the ceremony as representatives from Serbia, China, USA, France, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Algeria, Namibia, UK, Iran, New Zealand, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Ghana, Uganda, Italy and India were present.
The gala, hosted by Italian journalist Valentina Clemente, kicked off with a tribute to Al Jazeera’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead by the Israeli forces last month.
“She was one of us; she always wanted to tell what really happened. We want to give special award to her to tell her what she meant for us,” said AIPS President Merlo following the announcement of an honorary award for the Palestinian journalist.
Merlo also thanked Qatar for hosting the stunning edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards.
“I would like to thank Sheikh Faisal. Without him we couldn’t be here tonight,” he said.
Sheikh Faisal said: “I want to congratulate all the award winners and also all the journalist for their hardwork. We hope to have a nice future together with AIPS. I thank everyone here and I hope we can have this show again.”
More than 1,700 journalists submitted their work for the Awards as the last night’s ceremony followed the announcement of final three nominees for each category yesterday.
Serbia’s Andrej Isakovic was winner in the Photography Sport Action category for “The Halo Effect” (AFP), the Formula One picture showing Verstappen’s car on top of Hamilton’s, the tyre almost touching his helmet.
Isakovic was followed by Andre Durao (Brazil) and Felix Sanchez Arrazola (Spain) respectively.
“I hope you’ve liked all the pictures shown in the podium, because this is what we do every day. And today I’m more excited than when I took the picture of the Formula 1,” said Isakovic.
In the Writing - Best Colour Piece category, the first place went to Wufei Yu (China) and Will Ford (USA), followed by Jose Encarnacion (Puerto Rico) and Nick Hope (UK).
Matthieu Darnon (France) was winner in the Video Documentary category, followed by David Harrison (UK) and Christoph Nahr (Germany).
Australia’s Tracey Holmes clinched top honours in Audio category, with Dario Ricci (Italy) and Ronny Blaschke (Germany) claiming the next two spots.
“I’d like to thank our hosts, Qatar, in this year of the 2022 World Cup, which comes with challenges, but that will remembered by how you’ve faced those challenges, the men and women from Qatar,” said Holmes.
In the Photography Portfolio category, the first place went to Brazil’s Ueslei Marcelino, for his impressive Tokyo 2020 boxing portfolio. Clive Mason (UK) and Loic Venance (France) got second and third positions.
The category of Investigative reporting saw three winners, Omar Boudi and Zoher Boudi; Dimitar and Tasev (Bulgaria), and Michael Uugwanga (Namibia). In the Video Athlete Profile category, William Moss (USA) clinched top spot while United Kingdom’s Kate Rowan was winner in the Best Column category.
In the Video Short Feature category, Iran’s Maziyar Koupidar clinched the trophy while the Young Reporters category had three winners: Joe Allison (New Zealand) in Photography, José Encarnación (Puerto Rico) in Writing and Francis Hema (Ghana) in Broadcasting.
Each winner received $8,000 in prize money along with the trophy while journalists claiming second and third positions were awarded $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, the Special categories celebrated the career of Joachim Awuley Lartey (Ghana), a 95-year-old legend for African journalism.
“I’ve been saying thank you since I left Ghana, and was brought here, and I keep saying thank you. Since the creation of the national association in Ghana, progress was made. And progress in sports journalism will continue until the end of time,” said Lartey, who received an outstanding ovation by awardees and guests in the most emotional moment of the gala.