Photographer Fei Maohua of the Xinhua News Agency won the second prize in Sports Action Stories at the prestigious World Press Photo Contest, the Amsterdam-based contest organizer announced Friday.
Fei's award-winning pictures, 12 in total, show some of the most intense, emotional and beautiful moments at various sports venues, from desolate desert to snow-covered mountains.
Two other Chinese journalists were also awarded prizes. Fang Qianhua, from Nangfang Dushi Daily, took the first prize in Nature Singles, and Qi Xiaolong from Tianjin Daily pocketed the third prize in Arts and Entertainment Singles.
The contest, which started from 1955, was traditionally dominated by Western photographers. In recent years participants from developing countries have been on the rise. Chinese photographers have won a number of prizes in the past several years.
This year saw some 400 Chinese participants in the contest, second only to the United States with 748 participants.
A color picture by British photographer Tim Hetherington showing a U.S. soldier resting at a bunker in Afghanistan won the top prize at the contest, according to a press release at the contest's official website.
The image was chosen by the 14-member jury as the World Press Photo of the Year 2007 because it "shows the exhaustion of a man and the exhaustion of a nation," jury chairman Gary Knight said in a press release by the contest organizer.
"We're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line," said Knight, photographer and chairman of VII Photo Agency.
The photograph is part of a picture story that was also awarded the second prize in General News Stories at the contest.
This year, a record number of photographers from 125 countries and regions took part in the competition, one of the most prestigious annual international competitions in press photography.
A total of 5,019 photographers submitted 80,536 images to the contest organizer. Almost 20 percent of the participants in this year's contest are from Asia.
The jury gave prizes in 10 theme categories to 59 photographers of 23 nationalities.