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epa’s sports pictures selection 2015

A gallery highlighting a selection of epa’s sports pictures from 2015. epa covers sports events worldwide, ranging from the top events of the most well-known sports to feature coverage of more niche, less well-known sports. epa has numerous photographers around the world with a long record and experience of sports photography, unfortunately not all can be included in this selection. The highlights in 2015 were the Handball World Championships in Qatar, the Athletics World Championships in Beijing, the French Open in Paris and Wimbledon. A team of epa editors and photographers worked together to make these events a success. In 2015 epa sent around 210.000 sports pictures on the wire, which is the second highest number ever recorded, and which will surely be exceeded next year with the major events of the EURO 2016 soccer tournament in France and the Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

Competitors in action during the Mens Under 23 category race at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, 01 January 2015. epa/Matej Divizna

Competitors in action during the Mens Under 23 category race at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, 01 January 2015. epa/Matej Divizna

Argentinian rider Sebastian Halpern topples from his quad as he competes during the fourth stage of the 2015 Rally Dakar running between Chilecito, Argentina and Copiapo, Chile, 07 January 2015. epa/efe/Felipe Trueba

Argentinian rider Sebastian Halpern topples from his quad as he competes during the fourth stage of the 2015 Rally Dakar running between Chilecito, Argentina and Copiapo, Chile, 07 January 2015. epa/efe/Felipe Trueba

Spain's Joan Canellas (front) during the Qatar 2015 24th Men's Handball World Championship match between Qatar and Spain at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall outside Doha, Qatar, 21 January 2015. Qatar 2015 via epa/Nic Bothma

Spain’s Joan Canellas (front) during the Qatar 2015 24th Men’s Handball World Championship match between Qatar and Spain at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall outside Doha, Qatar, 21 January 2015. Qatar 2015 via epa/Nic Bothma

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in their fourth round match at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 25 January 2015. The Australian Open tennis tournament runs from 19 January until 01 February 2015. epa/Narendra Shrestha

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in their fourth round match at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 25 January 2015. The Australian Open tennis tournament runs from 19 January until 01 February 2015. epa/Narendra Shrestha

Daniel Bohnacker of Germany (3rd), Sergey Ridzik of Russia (2nd), Victor Oehling Norberg of Norway (1st) and Jean Frederic Chapuis of France (4th), from left, speed down the track during the final race of the men's Ski Cross World Cup in Arosa, Switzerland, on Saturday, February 7, 2015. epa/keystone/Gian Ehrenzeller

Daniel Bohnacker of Germany (3rd), Sergey Ridzik of Russia (2nd), Victor Oehling Norberg of Norway (1st) and Jean Frederic Chapuis of France (4th), from left, speed down the track during the final race of the men’s Ski Cross World Cup in Arosa, Switzerland, on Saturday, February 7, 2015. epa/keystone/Gian Ehrenzeller

Britain's Lily Owsley in action during the friendly field hockey match between Spain and Britain in Betero, Valencia, eastern Spain, 10 February 2015. epa/efe/Kai Foersterling

Britain’s Lily Owsley in action during the friendly field hockey match between Spain and Britain in Betero, Valencia, eastern Spain, 10 February 2015. epa/efe/Kai Foersterling

Thomas Diethart of Austria soars through the air during a ski jumping training session at the 2015 Nordic World Skiing Championships in Falun, Sweden, 24 February 2015. epa/expa/JFK

Thomas Diethart of Austria soars through the air during a ski jumping training session at the 2015 Nordic World Skiing Championships in Falun, Sweden, 24 February 2015. epa/expa/JFK

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in action against Donna Vekic of Croatia during their third round match for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 29 May 2015. epa/Yoan Valat

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in action against Donna Vekic of Croatia during their third round match for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 29 May 2015. epa/Yoan Valat

Monika Michalik (blue) of Poland and Andrea Simon (red) of Romania compete in the women's Freestyle 63kg wrestling Repechage match at the Baku 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan, 16 June 2015. epa/Srdjan Suki

Monika Michalik (blue) of Poland and Andrea Simon (red) of Romania compete in the women’s Freestyle 63kg wrestling Repechage match at the Baku 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan, 16 June 2015. epa/Srdjan Suki

Khetag Gazyumov (R) of Azerbaijan and Ibrahim Saidau of Belarus compete in the men's Freestyle 97kg wrestling quarter-final match at the Baku 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan, 17 June 2015. epa/Maxim Shipenkov

Khetag Gazyumov (R) of Azerbaijan and Ibrahim Saidau of Belarus compete in the men’s Freestyle 97kg wrestling quarter-final match at the Baku 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan, 17 June 2015. epa/Maxim Shipenkov

France's midfielder Claire Lavogez (back) bites teammate Jessica Houara's shirt (front) after missing a point in the penalty shootout against Germany during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 quarter-final soccer match between Germany and France at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, 26 June 2015. epa/Andre Pichette

France’s midfielder Claire Lavogez (back) bites teammate Jessica Houara’s shirt (front) after missing a point in the penalty shootout against Germany during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 quarter-final soccer match between Germany and France at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, 26 June 2015. epa/Andre Pichette

Sandra Aleksejeva of Latvia (L) and Elke Vanhoff of Belgium (R) falls during Women's Cycling BMX Final at the Baku 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, 28 June 2015. epa/Robert Ghement

Sandra Aleksejeva of Latvia (L) and Elke Vanhoff of Belgium (R) falls during Women’s Cycling BMX Final at the Baku 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, 28 June 2015. epa/Robert Ghement

PSG's players congratulate Moura Lucas of Paris St Germain after he scored during the French league 1 season opening match Paris Saint Germain vs Lille OSC at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille, France, 07 July 2015. epa/Etienne Laurent

PSG’s players congratulate Moura Lucas of Paris St Germain after he scored during the French league 1 season opening match Paris Saint Germain vs Lille OSC at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille, France, 07 July 2015. epa/Etienne Laurent

Borussia Dortmund players Sokratis Papastathopoulos (R) and Neven Subotic (2-R) in action against Kawasaki Frontale players Yuto Takeoka (2-L) and Shogo Taniguchi (L) during a friendly soccer match as part of Borussia Dortmund's Asian tour in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, 07 July 2015. epa/Kimimasa Mayama

Borussia Dortmund players Sokratis Papastathopoulos (R) and Neven Subotic (2-R) in action against Kawasaki Frontale players Yuto Takeoka (2-L) and Shogo Taniguchi (L) during a friendly soccer match as part of Borussia Dortmund’s Asian tour in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan, 07 July 2015. epa/Kimimasa Mayama

Javier Garcia (L) of Spain vies for the ball with Aaron Younger of Australia during their men’s Vodafone Cup water polo match in Hajos Alfred Swimming Pool in Budapest, Hungary, 11 July 2015. epa/mti/Tamas Kovacs

Javier Garcia (L) of Spain vies for the ball with Aaron Younger of Australia during their men’s Vodafone Cup water polo match in Hajos Alfred Swimming Pool in Budapest, Hungary, 11 July 2015. epa/mti/Tamas Kovacs

A multiple exposure image of Alexander Massialas (L) of the USA in action against Artur Akhmatkhuzin (R) of Russia during their men's Foil Individual semi final bout of the World Fencing Championships in Moscow, Russia, 16 July 2015. epa/Sergei Ilnitsky

A multiple exposure image of Alexander Massialas (L) of the USA in action against Artur Akhmatkhuzin (R) of Russia during their men’s Foil Individual semi final bout of the World Fencing Championships in Moscow, Russia, 16 July 2015. epa/Sergei Ilnitsky

Brazilian divers Ingrid Oliveira and Giovanna Pedroso perform in the women's 10m Synchro Platform preliminary round at the 16th FINA Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, 27 July 2015. epa/Valdrin Xhemaj

Brazilian divers Ingrid Oliveira and Giovanna Pedroso perform in the women’s 10m Synchro Platform preliminary round at the 16th FINA Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, 27 July 2015. epa/Valdrin Xhemaj

British Gary Hunt competes during the Men's High Diving preliminary round of the FINA Swimming World Championships 2015 at Kazanska River in Kazan, Russia, 02 August 2015. epa/Tolga Bozoglu

British Gary Hunt competes during the Men’s High Diving preliminary round of the FINA Swimming World Championships 2015 at Kazanska River in Kazan, Russia, 02 August 2015. epa/Tolga Bozoglu

A trip of paddle boarders pass by on Lake Michigan as Tommy Fleetwood of England putts on the third green during the second round of the 97th PGA Championship golf tournament at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA, 14 August 2015. epa/Erik S. Lesser

A trip of paddle boarders pass by on Lake Michigan as Tommy Fleetwood of England putts on the third green during the second round of the 97th PGA Championship golf tournament at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA, 14 August 2015. epa/Erik S. Lesser

A Tv cameraman drives into Usain Bolt of Jamaica after the men's 200m final during the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium, also known as Bird's Nest, in Beijing, China, 27 August 2015. Bolt won the race. epa/Rolex Dela Pena

A Tv cameraman drives into Usain Bolt of Jamaica after the men’s 200m final during the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium, also known as Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, China, 27 August 2015. Bolt won the race. epa/Rolex Dela Pena

Ashton Eaton of the USA wears a cooling hood as he rests on the track during the Pole Vault of the Decathlon event during the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium, also known as Bird's Nest, in Beijing, China, 29 August 2015. epa/Diego Azubel

Ashton Eaton of the USA wears a cooling hood as he rests on the track during the Pole Vault of the Decathlon event during the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium, also known as Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, China, 29 August 2015. epa/Diego Azubel

Fan Yilin of China performs on the uneven bars during the women's qualifications on day two at the 46th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Glasgow, Britain, 24 October 2015. epa/Andrew Cowie

Fan Yilin of China performs on the uneven bars during the women’s qualifications on day two at the 46th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Glasgow, Britain, 24 October 2015. epa/Andrew Cowie

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP in action during the third practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, USA, 24 October 2015. The United States Formula One Grand Prix takes place on 25 October 2015. epa/Srdjan Suki

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP in action during the third practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, USA, 24 October 2015. The United States Formula One Grand Prix takes place on 25 October 2015. epa/Srdjan Suki

Fourth placed Lara Gut of Switzerland speeds down the slope during the second run of the women's Giant Slalom race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season on the Rettenbach glacier, in Soelden, Austria, 24 October 2015. epa/apa/Gian Ehrenzeller

Fourth placed Lara Gut of Switzerland speeds down the slope during the second run of the women’s Giant Slalom race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season on the Rettenbach glacier, in Soelden, Austria, 24 October 2015. epa/apa/Gian Ehrenzeller

A photograph made avaiable on 01 November 2015 showing Charlie Lines (C) reacts after New Zealand All Blacks player Sonny Bill Williams gave his gold medal after winning the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham in London, Britain, 31 October 2015. epa/Facundo Arrizabalaga

A photograph made avaiable on 01 November 2015 showing Charlie Lines (C) reacts after New Zealand All Blacks player Sonny Bill Williams gave his gold medal after winning the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham in London, Britain, 31 October 2015. epa/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Mads Ostberg of Norway driving his Citroën DS3 during the shakedown of the WRC Wales Rally GB 2015 in Deeside, Wales, Britain, 12 November 2015.

Mads Ostberg of Norway driving his Citroën DS3 during the shakedown of the WRC Wales Rally GB 2015 in Deeside, Wales, Britain, 12 November 2015.

Unicaja's US pivot Will Thomas (L) fights for the ball with US pivot Arinze Onuaku (R) of Maccabi Tel Aviv during their Euroleague game between Unicaja and Maccabi Tel Aviv played at Jose Maria Martin Carpena pavillio in Malaga, Andalusia, Spain on 26 November 2015. epa/efe/Jorge Zapata

Unicaja’s US pivot Will Thomas (L) fights for the ball with US pivot Arinze Onuaku (R) of Maccabi Tel Aviv during their Euroleague game between Unicaja and Maccabi Tel Aviv played at Jose Maria Martin Carpena pavillio in Malaga, Andalusia, Spain on 26 November 2015. epa/efe/Jorge Zapata

Competitors in action during the Motocross race Red Bull Knock Out at The Hague Beach, The Hague, Netherlands, 28 November 2015. The is the largest and toughest motocross beach race in the world. Amateur and pro motocross riders will fight against each other and against the natural elements of the sea and sand. epa/anp/Remko De Waal

Competitors in action during the Motocross race Red Bull Knock Out at The Hague Beach, The Hague, Netherlands, 28 November 2015. The is the largest and toughest motocross beach race in the world. Amateur and pro motocross riders will fight against each other and against the natural elements of the sea and sand. epa/anp/Remko De Waal

Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Vladimir Klitschko in action against British boxer Tyson Fury (not pictured) at the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, Germany, 28 November 2015. epa/dpa/Rolf Vennenbernd

Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Vladimir Klitschko in action against British boxer Tyson Fury (not pictured) at the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, Germany, 28 November 2015. epa/dpa/Rolf Vennenbernd

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