Jiro, the Eyes Behind Athletics 

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His name is Jiro Mochizuki. He is a Japanese photographer who was born in Tokyo and lives in Paris. It’s been more than 30 years since he began traveling the world with his camera; capturing great athletics, football, and Rugby competitions. Jiro, who exhibits his work in big museums and galleries, has a special relationship with Ethiopian athletes. Jiro has gained popularity among Ethiopians since he published a book titled ‘Haile Gebresilassie: Emperor of Long Distance,’ which contains several special photos of the athlete’s running history. Jiro, who was witnessed by thousands at the Great Ethiopian Run 10 km, as he stood on the Addis Ababa railway tower and aimed his camera downwards had a close conversation with Dub Dub

Dub Dub– how many continental/international athletics events have you captured?

Jiro– I haven’t counted.15 Diamond League tournaments are held annually. Unlike other photographers, I cover up to 14. I will attend a few other ‘Indoor’ and ‘World Challenge GP competitions as well and take pictures. I don’t miss the Paris, London, Berlin, and Tokyo marathons and the World Cross Country, Euro Indoor Championships, and World Championships. I have been to other continental championships, youth, and junior world championships, Olympics, and Youth Olympics. I have attended six football and rugby World Cups. I have also worked on the European Football Cup and other similar competitions.

Dub Dub -Tell us about the event that you think was the most special of all the events you captured on camera

Jiro– I think it’s when the new world record was set. I was there when Haile (G/Silasie) was on track and set the marathon record twice. I have photos of Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba repeatedly breaking records. Seeing a world record set is not an opportunity you get very often.

Dub Dub -Do you have any moment you regret missing without capturing it on your camera?

Jiro– A lot! Everything happens in an instant; In a fraction of a second. Learning from your mistakes is what benefit you.

Dub Dub– How challenging is it to capture sports events?

Jiro– It’s not that difficult. If you love the profession, you will do it.

Dub Dub– It is said that the field of professional sports photography is one of the keys to building the reputation, economic potential, and sporting success of athletes. How much do you think Ethiopian athletes have benefited from this opportunity?

Jiro– This is not difficult to do. If you are a talented athlete with a level of Haile, Kenenisa, and Tirunesh you won’t have a problem. Photographers will love to snap a few photos of you wherever you go. And you should give enough time to spend time with reporters.

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