Olympics: 10 best pictures from Rio 2016

Some the best of the photos that have been captured over the duration of the Games so far.
Some the best of the photos that have been captured over the duration of the Games so far.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP, EPA

Over the last two weeks, the Rio 2016 Olympics have been an exciting showcase of sporting talent and heartwarming sportsmanship, preserved in pictures taken by photographers from all over the world.

Since Aug 5, the world has seen both nail-biting finals and astonishing upsets.

The Straits Times compiles the best of the photos so far, that have captured the imagination of the fans and media alike.

1. A BOLT AND A SMILE


Usain Bolt sprints past the rest in the 100m semi-final. PHOTO: REUTERS

Usain Bolt amazed all as he showed again why people call him the World's Fastest Man. He sped past the other competitors in this 100m semi-final on Aug 14, pulling ahead of them in the race. This iconic moment of Bolt glancing in the direction of the camera has since gone viral, becoming one of the defining moments of the Rio Games.

2. MULTICULTURAL CONTRAST


Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy (right) goes for a block against Italy's Laura Giombini (left) in their Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's beach volleyball match at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana Beach. 
PHOTO: EPA

Photos of the Egyptian beach volleyball team went viral as comparisons were made between the clothes worn by them versus their competitors. Clad in hijab, leggings and long sleeves, they were a definite visual contrast to other teams, showing the multicultural diversity the Games bring out.

3. TRUE OLYMPIC SPORTSMANSHIP


Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand helping Abbey D'Agostino of the USA in the women's 5,000m heat. PHOTO: AFP

In another heartwarming moment of sportsmanship in the Games, international photographers captured a moment between New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and USA's Abbey D'Agostino.

D'Agostino had suffered a cramp during the women's 5,000m heat and Hamblin stopped running to help her up. In an earlier section of the same race, D'Agostino was the one helping Hamblin up after they tripped over each other.

They were praised for their sporting behaviour and have been granted places in the 5000m final tomorrow (Aug 19).

4. SELFIE "NORTH AND SOUTH" STYLE


Gymnast Lee Eun Ju of South Korea (right) takes a selfie with Hong Un Jong of North Korea. PHOTO: REUTERS

This photo captured the spirit of the Games, showing two gymnasts from South and North Korea coming together to take a selfie. The incident warmed the hearts of netizens who praised both for their sportsmanship.

5. MAJULAH SINGAPURA


From left: Michael Phelps of the USA, Chad le Clos of South Africa, Lazslo Cseh of Hungary and Joseph Schooling of Singapore at the medal ceremony for the men's 100m butterfly. PHOTO: REUTERS

An iconic picture in two ways, this photo captures a moment Singaporeans will cherish for a long time. Singaporean Joseph Schooling steps onto the podium after winning the country's first Olympics gold medal - in the men's 100m butterfly on Aug 12. He seems to be virtually holding up the famous Olympic rings from this angle.

Standing to his right, are three of the world's best butterfly swimmers who had tied for second place. A proud moment for Singaporeans. A historic moment too, with the first three-way tie for any medal in Olympics swimming history as well.

6. HAIL QUEEN LEDECKY


Katie Ledecky smashes the world record in the women's 400m freestyle. PHOTO: AFP

The picture above sums up the swimming sensation that was 19-year-old Katie Ledecky. She brought glory to Team USA in the pool, as she won the women's 400m freestyle on Aug 14, finishing far ahead of her competitors. 

Her performance smashed the previous world record as she finished in 3min 56.46sec, ahead of silver medallist Carlin Jazz of Great Britain who finished in 4min 1.23sec.

She also won the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 4x200m free relay, becoming the third American female swimmer to win four golds in a single Olympics.

7. UGLY BUT GOLDEN DIVE


Bahamas' Shaunae Miller dives over the finish line to win the women's 400m gold on Aug 15. PHOTO: AFP

Bahamas' Shaunae Miller won the women's 400m gold with a dramatic dive across the finish line at 49.44 seconds, her personal best. She finished ahead of the USA's Allyson Felix who was just 0.07seconds slower, settling for silver. The rules state that a runner has finished a race when any part of the torso - not just head or fingers or arms - has hit the line.

8. HOMETOWN CHAMPION


Brazil's Rafaela Silva celebrates with her gold medal following the women's -57kg judo contest in Rio. PHOTO: REUTERS

Judoka Rafaela Silva won Brazil's first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics in the women's -57kg category on Aug 8. She was emotional in her win over Mongolia's Sumiya Dorjsuren.  What made her a hometown hero, is that her training began years earlier at Instituto Reacao, a non-profit organization in Rio’s Jacarepagua neighborhood that promotes social and human development through its chosen sport of judo.

9. RIO'S SPLENDOUR


Spectators watch the men's beach volleyball qualifying match between the Netherlands and Russia as the sun sets over Copacabana's Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Aug 6, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Even while rumours of crime and unrest threaten to tarnish the sanctity of the Rio 2016 Olympics, photographs like this remind us how beautiful the city can be, as shown by this glowing sunset.

10. STUNNING ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY


Erika Kirpu (left) of Estonia in action against Young Mi Kang of South Korea in the women's epee team quarter final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. PHOTO: EPA

We cap it off here, with a moment of sporting action from fencing, quickly but brilliantly captured by a photographer on the sidelines.