Oscar Pistorius meets Anthony the cheetah: My image of the week by Andy Hooper

Andy Hooper: My favourite image of the week…. Oscar Pistorius meets Anthony the cheetah

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UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 26 March 2012

Each
week, Sportsmail's top snappers Andy Hooper, Graham Chadwick and Kevin
Quigley will be showcasing their favourite image.

Andy chooses this capture of Oscar Pistorius.

I’d already decided on big the image I wanted to take when I spent a few days with Oscar Pistorius last month. I was in Pretoria to photograph him in training for the London 2012 Olympics and to shoot pictures of him at home and around the city.

Having discovered Oscar’s legs are called ‘cheetah legs’ I wanted to shoot an image with him going head-to-head with the world's fastest animal. The difficulty for me was how I’d ask an Olympic athlete to stare into the eyes of a big cat sitting just a couple of feet away. Despite not being in the best of moods and preparing for the Olympics with a demanding training schedule, he agreed.

Anthony, the only cheetah in the world trained (and trusted) enough to be let off the lead, behaved impeccably.

But not surprisingly, Oscar still looked at me with a certain amount of doubt, especially when he found out that Anthony hadn’t been fed that morning.

The ranger from the game reserve was standing just out of shot to the right with pieces of raw chicken to keep Anthony focused and looking at Oscar.

All in all the picture only took a few minutes to shoot but hours to set up. A special thanks must go to The Farm Inn Wildlife Sanctuary in Pretoria and especially to Oscar and Anthony.

Camera Data
Nikon D3
Lens 24mm-70mm
Exposure 1/200th sec at F8
ISO 100

Oscar Pistorius and Anthony the cheetah