Antoine De Ras / Independent via AP

Pistorius accused of “premeditated” murder; breaks down in court

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Inspiring Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius broke down in court Friday morning in Pretoria, South Africa after being accused of the “premeditated” murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, and being formally charged.

Pistorius, who denies the allegations in the “strongest terms” according to a statement released Friday, kept his head down and cried as the hearing started, and is reported as having looked confused. Pistorius’s lawyer referred to his client as being in a “traumatised state of mind.”

“Take it easy,” Magistrate Desmond Nair reportedly told him. “Come take a seat.”

The usually affable Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fiber prosthetics he races on, didn’t speak during the entire forty-minute proceeding. His father and brother sat right behind him in court.

There are few details about what actually happened Thursday, but it’s known that Pistorius and Steenkamp were the only two in the  house, and an Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper, reported that Pistorius had shot his girlfriend four times through the bathroom door. Earlier reports that he assumed she was an intruder have been disputed by local law enforcement, and neighbors reported hearing noises before the shots were fired.

The hearing was adjourned until February 19. Pistorius will remain in custody until then.

Lolo Jones praises Ezekiel Elliott’s ‘perfect hurdle form’

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys hurdles Chris Prosinski #31 of the Chicago Bears while carrying the ball in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was running down the open field when he encountered Chicago Bears safety Chris Prosinski.

Prosinski went low and Elliott, a high school state champion in the 110m and 300m hurdles, decided to go high and hurdle the defender:

The track and field community took notice of Elliott’s hurdle.

Lolo Jones, a 100m hurdler who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, gave Elliott grades of an A++ for difficulty and an A for technique on Twitter. She wrote that it “hands down would’ve been best NFL hurdle technique of the yr.” if a second Bears defender, Jonathan Anderson, hadn’t prevented Elliott from landing cleanly:

Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles, also had a positive review of Elliott’s efforts:

Emma Coburn, the 2016 Olympic 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist, thought Elliott’s leap resembled her event:

Elliott finished with 30 carries for 140 yards to lead the Cowboys to a 31-17 win during Sunday Night Football.

His mother, Dawn, who was a track and field athlete at the University of Missouri, posted a photo on Twitter to remind everyone where her son inherited his hurling gene from:

MORE: Marquise Goodwin scores touchdown, celebrates with long jump (video)

Rome’s city council to vote Thursday on 2024 Olympics bid

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago' gestures during a press conference, after a scheduled meeting with Rome mayor Virginia Raggi did not take place, in Rome, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has rejected the city's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, effectively dooming the candidacy. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP Photo)
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ROME (AP) — Rome’s city council will vote Thursday whether to support Mayor Virginia Raggi‘s rejection of the city’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The motion is expected to pass easily since Raggi’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement holds a majority on the city council.

Raggi announced her formal opposition of the candidacy in a news conference last week, citing concerns over high costs given the city is barely able to have its trash picked up.

Raggi’s rejection occurred four years after then-Premier Mario Monti stopped Rome’s plans to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics because of financial concerns.

If the motion is approved, it would leave only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest, Hungary, in the running for 2024. The International Olympic Committee will decide on the host city in September 2017.

MORE: Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi rejects city’s 2024 Olympic bid