The most striking images of European sports come together in our top 10. Here they are, along with the inside stories from the expert photographers that shot them.
Matt Lewis - @mattlewispix
Dwayne Bravo of the West Indies catches James Faulkner of Australia off the bowling of Krishmar Santokie during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 match between the West indies and Australia
'This picture shows a key turning point in the game. Dwayne Bravo of the West Indies caught James Faulkner of Australia during the ICC World T20 and you could see by his celebration it meant a lot to him. Before the match Faulkner said some comments that offended the West Indies so revenge was sweet. T20 cricket is fast and furious and takes a lot of concentration, especially in the heat in Dhaka, reaction times need to be quick and even quicker to capture a moment like this.
I used a Canon 1DX and a 600mm f4 lens in a tripod to capture this image. I like how Dwayne is diving towards me and you can see what the moment means to him too. It's always special to capture a moment like this as it's difficult to predict where and when a person will make a catch due to the speed of the shot from the batsman.'
Mike Hewitt - @HewittMike
Runners and riders jump the third last in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse
The Cheltenham Festival is one of my favourite events of the year. The racecourse is in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Cotswolds and the jockeys and horses are of the highest possible class. The atmosphere generated by the huge crowds is always electric and when the weather is good, as it was this year, photographing a sports event doesn't really get any better.
As Getty Images always has a small team of photographers at Cheltenham this means that on each race one of us is afforded a bit of creative license to wander off to the far reaches of the course to try and find something a bit different. With the pressure of having to capture the winning horse lifted you then have freedom to look for a strong, generic horse racing image.
This image was from the last race of the day. I knew a particular fence where the horses would be jumping towards the setting sun enabling me to silhouette them. It's obviously a remote camera fired by me at a safe distance!
I used a 14mm lens which gives an ultra wide 114° field of view but doesn't distort as much as a fish eye and these horses are filling the frame. What really makes the picture for me is the positioning of the horses. Quite often silhouetted horses overlap and merge into each other and it can look as if a particular horse has six legs or 2 heads. Here, they've maintained a respectful distance from one another. All planned, of course...
Vladimir Rys - @vladimirrys
Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Caterham gets off the track after crashing into Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix
It's Sunday afternoon, about 30 minutes before the first race of the season at Albert Park in Melbourne and I still haven't made up my mind whether to go to shoot the start of the race from the first corner or take a spot in corner 3. It has a platform for photographers and its position means there’s a possibility of a nice start image. After a few thoughts I decide on the outside position in the first corner. As it’s the first race drivers are usually a bit tense, some of the newcomers may be insecure with their new beasts underneath and that could cause some trouble. I like to gamble.
Lights go off and 22 beautiful machines slide over the asphalt down into the first corner. What a show. As the peak of the pack goes through without any contact, I’m thinking maybe I made a bad decision, but suddenly I see smoke building up in the corner of my viewfinder, that means somebody is locking up.
I change my point of focus quickly and focus on the green car of the Japanese Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi. Kamui locks up and loses control of his car. It's too late for him. He hits the Williams car of the Brazilian driver Felipe Massa and continues his journey into the gravel on the trackside. Everything happens in 3 or 4 seconds, in which your mind and your eyes have to become one with your camera. There is no tolerance for mistakes.
I am very happy everything worked perfectly for me in that moment.
David Ramos - @davphoto20
Marcus Ehning of Germany on Cornado NRW in action to win the Grand Prix Hermes during the third day of the Grand Prix Hermes of Paris
I knew that it was going to be a challenging assignment because it was my first time shooting a show jumping tournament.
When I got the Grand Palais of Paris on the first of my three days I realised that placing a wide angle camera on the ground next to an obstacle could give me a good image because the background would be the amazing glass vault of the Palais.
After two days learning how the horses and riders jumped, and how the sun light slowly changed through the day, I placed for the main event, the Grand Prix, a wide angle remote camera in the middle of a double obstacle where the riders would be facing the sun at dusk. I knew that not all the riders would ride through that nice light but maybe some of them would catch the last rays of it. I was a lucky boy when I found out that one of those riders was the eventual winner of the Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during day four of Formula One Winter Testing at the Bahrain International Circuit
Ahead of the new season the F1 teams had set up in Bahrain to test the new cars. With the new regulations meaning whole different engine design, all eyes were on how they’d perform. Unfortunately the main talking point was the lack of engine noise… and it’s hard to photograph that! After spending most of the day shooting the new season’s cars you start thinking about angles for the setting sun.
For the first few days the sunset had weakened and lost its intensity for this kind of picture. On the final hour of the last day I waited in this position for the sun to drop but again the late afternoon clouds obscured it. Luckily the sun popped out from the bottom of the cloud which gave a small window to get the right light to work with. Lewis Hamilton was still out running which helps as his Mercedes is particularly shiny! Then it was just a case of waiting and hoping he stayed out for a couple more laps and hit the right line.
His team looks set to have a good season so it's nice to have a good picture of a driver who I’m sure will challenge for the title.
David Ramos - @davphoto20
The peloton during Stage Five of the Volta a Catalunya from Llanars to Valls
We’d had two mountain stages of the Volta de Catalunya, which had been very hard. Compared to the days before this stage seemed to be very plain and it was a boring day. I wanted to capture the contrast I felt between the two days and I knew the shot I wanted. We drove ahead of the peloton to find a flat landscape. It needed to be clean with no traffic signals, cables or houses so I could capture the big sky. We found a field and waited. The group was not riding too fast so it was easy to catch the clean line of the peloton filling the frame from one side to the other.
Alex Livesey - @LiveseyAlex
Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain poses with her gold medal from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics during a portrait session
The last few months have been quite a journey for Team GB’s Skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold. I first shot her far from any mountains in Bath, England in August last year. With the Winter Olympics round the corner I wanted to concentrate on the story of the GB sliders and the facilities at Bath seemed as good a place as any to start. From there I covered training in Lillehammer and the FIBT Skeleton World Cup event in St Moritz, where Lizzy finished second. In Sochi I was assigned to be the venue photographer for the Sanki Sliding Centre. I’d seen the hard work put in by the team and really lived and breathed the action with them! It was great to see Lizzy win gold and we arranged to do a portrait shoot when we we’re back in the UK.
I chose to light the picture with a ring flash for a bright punchy image. She stands out well against the deep red background in this light, although her massive smile certainly helps as well! It felt like the final part of her Sochi story.
Straight after the shoot she had to rush off to a function with the British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street… funny how things change!
Dan Bibby of England is tackled by Justin Geduld of South Africa during the Cup quarter-final match between England and South Africa on day three of the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens at Hong Kong International Stadium
Like most Welshman rugby is my favourite sport so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to get to Hong Kong this year and shoot the 7’s for the first time. It’s a great version of the sport, less players mean more action and tries. I’ve always been aware of Hong Kong having probably the best event atmosphere on the 7’s circuit and sitting and shooting in front of a full south stand (made up almost completely of punters in crazy fancy dress and indulging in a fair few beers) was certainly a fun experience.
In regards to the photograph, no matter the sport, somehow flowing locks always seem to help a frame and this picture was taken in what was probably was one of the few periods over the weekend where it wasn’t raining, which was torrential at times. The inclement weather combined with the constant wiring of images from the nonstop format of games meant it’s a pretty hectic event to cover but one I’m keen to do again.
Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez , David Alaba and Mario Goetze of Munich celebrate after the Bundesliga match between and Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion
I was sent as the second photographer to cover the match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin. It was a big event as Munich could potentially win the German Bundesliga that evening. If they did, they would break the record to become the earliest confirmed champions for the last 50 years of Bundesliga history. The light in the stadium is quite bad, so when the Munich players celebrated their 3-1 victory after the match and ran off the pitch it made things very tricky. It’s hard to freeze quick movement on wide angles at such low shutter speeds.
As the real trophy is awarded at the end of the season, the players got hold of a replica which helped give a focus to the pictures. During the melee Munich player Thiago asked me to take a shot of him. It lasted just for only one second and made for a fantastic image – thanks Thiago for this lucky moment! Even better than all that, the picture looked good despite the lack of light!
John Powell @LFC
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the third goal during the Barclays Premier Leauge match between Manchester United and Liverpool
'Shooting Liverpool is in most respects the same as shooting any game. As any of the lads (sports photographers) will tell you, you try for a different position for that one off shot and hope after a goal the celebration will run your way. The main difference is that because I am covering every game (and some training sessions each week) you tend to know some of the moves the team will make, so you can anticipate some of the shots you can take.
It's a great privilege to work for one of the top clubs especially when it is the team you have supported all your life.
Playing the way they are at the moment only gives me more opportunity to get a good image from a game, as their run of form has been outstanding.
In games like this one against Manchester United it is always that bit more special, as the rivalry with the two clubs is so intense. Pressure on both teams for a result makes for a much better atmosphere, and I think rubs off on all the photographers to get that "Picture of the Month".'