A photo of AFLW star Tayla Harris completing a stunning airborne kick has won the professional category at the inaugural Women in Sport Photo Action Awards.
The still image, taken by ALFW senior photographer Michael Willson, became a viral sensation after sparking a spirited defence of women in sport when Taylor was targetted by online trolls posting offensive comments.
Community outrage ensued and the picture was soon splashed across homemade T-shirts, while the women’s league embraced it as an unofficial logo.
Judge Louise Evans said the image perfectly encapsulated the essence of women performing at the highest level, and was an inspirational and memorable winner.
“It captures that sweet moment in sport when everything falls into place, when amid all the drama and noise an athlete executes the perfect play,” Ms Evans said in a statement.
Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals. pic.twitter.com/68aBVVbTTj
— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) March 19, 2019
Daniel Pockett from Australian Associated Press was one of two runners-up for his shot of Angela Foley spectacularly tackling Tegan Cunningham.
The picture was chosen for its depiction of “ferocious fearlessness.”
“The composition of the players with their legs and arms forming a clock face is a great moment in time,” the competition judges said.
The WSA photo awards are split into professional and amateur categories, with Australian Associated Press having the most entries (five) of any publisher for the main prize.
Top-ranked Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty, Matildas stars Sam Kerr and Lisa Da Vanna also featured in the professional category.
An amateur prize was awarded to Johan Schmidt for his powerful shot of rugby union player Sera Ah-Sam, who shows raw power, strength and determination during play.
“The tenacity of the tacklers fighting for the ball is palpable,” Ms Evans said.
Prizes for both major winners include flights to the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Qatar, and thousands to spend on Nikon products.
Other judges of the competition included award-winning sports photographers Delly Carr and Colleen Petch, and veteran broadcaster Ray Martin.