World Cup Image by Croatian Photojournalist Named 4th Best of 2018

Daniela Rogulj

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Croatian photojournalist Drago Sopta took fourth place in the category of best sports photographs for his photo of Šime Vrsaljko after the World Cup semifinal.

At a gala ceremony in Lausanne, in the presence of the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, awards were presented to the best sports journalists in various categories for the first edition of AIPS Sport Media Awards, reports on January 23, 2019. 

The first edition laureates of the AIPS Sport Media Awards have won the ‘Oscars’ in the category of sports journalism, whether it is writing, video, photography or sound. 

The highlight of the ceremony was when the awards were presented to the top three finalists in each category. In addition to the cash prizes for each winner – $8,000 for the first place, $3,000 for the second and $2,000 for the third – trophies were also awarded, inspired by the feather pen used by people in the past to write letters.

The closest prize of the Croatian candidates was the official photographer of the Croatian Football Federation, Drago Sopta, who took fourth place in the category of the best sports photographs. 

Recall, Sopta’s photo of Šime Vrsaljko lying on the Croatian flag (with a grin) after the semi-finals of the World Cup against England quickly became a hit around the world and was viral on various social networks during the World Cup. 

There were 1273 entries from 119 countries in the competition. 

“In addition to talent and hard work, you must love sports to be able to tell an interesting story. It is essential to be dedicated to its work,” said prominent filmmaker Michael Kuhn in Lausanne. 

The ceremony ahead of the AIPS World Congress, the International Association of Sports Journalists, was also represented by Croatian representatives – AIPS Treasurer and HZSN President Jura Ozmec, HZSN Secretary General Marijan Bakić, and Member of the Executive Board Lovorko Magdić. 

AIPS was founded in Paris in 1924 as L’Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive, or the International Sports Press Association. AIPS represents the international sports media and consists of 156 autonomous National Sports Journalists’ Associations worldwide with more than 9,000 members. They are known as the ‘creme de la creme’ of international sports media. 

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