After missing out on last year’s award, the photographer for Goal.com was a proud recipient of the prestigious S.League 2012 Picture of the Year accoladePhotographer Zeng Liwei’s picture for Goal.com won the Picture of the Year award on Sunday night at the S.League Awards Night 2012.
The picture, which shows young Tanjong Pagar captain Delwinder Singh up against retiring national team-mate Aleksander Duric, depicted a battle of youth against age and stood out among other nominated pictures.
Zeng, who did not expect to win, expressed his happiness in warding off tough competition to win the award, and believes his hard work has been vindicated.
“I feel very honoured to have won this award, knowing that I am up against some strong competition," he enthused.
"I am really happy that hard work does pay off.
“I didn't expect to win this year, being nominated was already good enough for me.”
Goal.com chief Editor Bhas Kunju applauded Zeng’s win, and praised the photographer for winning the award in only his second attempt.
"I'm really proud of him and so glad he has won it this year," said Kunju.
"He was nominated last year too and at that time we were only on the verge of launching. But to win it on his second attempt is brilliant."
Zeng’s award-winning picture was so eye-catching that it was one of the first options Kunju had in mind for submission despite the many photos Zeng had taken for Goal.com.
"He has submitted thousands of photos to us, literally!" he added.
"But the very first time I saw that photo I knew it was something special and I knew we had a winner. So when it came time for submission I remembered it and included it in my shortlist of two."
Kunju was also confident Zeng's other pictures could have won the award, despite being relatively new to the local football scene, saying:“The other was another equally impressive photo of a dejected looking Lee Lim Saeng surrounded by reporters. We were only allowed to submit one entry and I went with this. But I think with either one he would have won."
"Liwei has been a fantastic member of the team and his contributions really helped us make our mark. Keep in mind we only officially launched in late January this year.”
Zeng was unable to collect his award due to work commitments, and his award was collected by Goal.com representative, Khalis Rifhan, who was also at the ceremony having been nominated for Story of the Year in his first year as a sports journalist.