Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius trial Day 2 video clips, recap; Reeva’s mother forgives

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Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands on the second day of his murder trial while it was detailed how bullets hit girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Three witnesses of the Valentine’s Day 2013 killing from homes near Pistorius’ Pretoria house testified Tuesday as to what they saw and heard on that night. A third Afrikaans-English interpreter was brought in, and the judge warned media for showing a photograph of one of the witnesses on live TV.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012, shot and killed Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 in his Pretoria, South Africa home.

He has said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his bathroom when he shot four times through the door and killed her. The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot her after a fight. Pistorius could face life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder with a minimum of 25 years.

On Tuesday, the first witness, Dr. Michelle Burger, finished answering more than three hours of questions over two days in tears inside a Pretoria courtroom.

Burger said she heard a man and woman scream amid gunshots. Pistorius, in his statement last year, made no mention of hearing Steenkamp scream.

Burger’s husband also testified Tuesday to hearing a man and woman scream. Another witness who lived in the same community as Pistorius said she heard arguing that lasted about an hour.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 2:30 a.m. ET.

Also Tuesday, “TODAY” aired an interview with Steenkamp’s mother, June, who did not attend court on the second day of the trial.

June Steenkamp was there Monday, and she explained why.

“I wanted to see Oscar face to face, and that he would know that I was there,” June Steenkamp said. “It doesn’t matter to me what happens to Oscar because my daughter is never coming back.”

Can she forgive Pistorius?

“It’s actually important to forgive him, for me, because I don’t want to live with bitterness in my life,” she said. “One has to forgive, even though if he made a mistake. It’s an enormous mistake.”

Here’s NBC News’ full recap from Tuesday’s proceedings.

Here’s video of Pistorius putting his head in his hands as details are explained of how the bullets from his gun struck Steenkamp (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s video of the first witness, Burger, crying on the stand (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s some atmosphere from Pretoria via Twitter:

Here are photos from Pretoria via The Associated Press:

source: AP
Journalists swamp Pistorius, as escorted out by his private security and police officers.
source: AP
Oscar Pistorius talks with brother Carl.
source: AP
Pistorius writes on a document in the dock.

Here are South African Monday PM newspaper front pages:

source:

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Yuna Kim happy that ‘absurd’ situation is finished

More Olympic distance-running medalists banned for doping

Gamze Bulut
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MONACO (AP) — Turkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse has been banned for doping and stands to lose two Olympic silver medals.

The IAAF says Abeylegesse tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol in a retest of a sample she gave at the 2007 World Championships.

She has been banned for two years and had her results wiped out from 2007-09.

Abeylegesse won Olympic silver medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Games and silver in the 10,000m at the 2007 world championships.

The IAAF also said it had imposed a four-year ban on another Turkish runner, Gamze Bulut, for a violation of its biological passport program. Bulut won 1500m silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

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Maria Sharapova not fully committed to 2020 Olympic run

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The rumors and reports have been out for months, but asked directly, Maria Sharapova wasn’t immediately quite sure how to answer when asked about going for the 2020 Olympics.

“Ooh, I don’t, umm,” Sharapova said, laughing lightly, sitting across from retired U.S. Olympic soccer champion Julia Foudy at a conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Tuesday (video here). “It’s a question I’ve been asked, and I’d love to sit here today and say yes, in three-so years that is where I want to be. But it’s hard. It’s hard to look that far, also being a woman that’s also [turning] 30 years [old in three weeks]. I want to have a family. I want to be a mother. Those are definitely long-term goals of mine. But of course to compete in another Olympics, that’s an athlete’s dream. I’d love to be a part of that.”

Sharapova is set to return from her 15-month meldonium ban next month. What stings the most about her suspension?

“Something was taken away from you that you’ve done so passionately since you were a little girl,” she said. “Although I’m at a stage and an age in my career and in my life where you’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning, you always want to end your career or a chapter in your life on your terms and in your voice. And to be in a moment where you feel or you felt like it could have ended on someone else’s voice and someone else’s terms was very difficult to accept. That’s why I fought so hard for the truth to be out. You don’t realize how much you love something and how much something it means to you until you lose it for some time. It gave me a chance also to live.”

Sharapova joked about going to Coachella last year.

“There’s 120,000 people doing drugs that I’m not aware of?” she said, laughing. “And completely being out of my element. I was like, OK? … I’m skipping Coachella this year, because I got my day-job back.”

The fans’ reaction when she gets back on the competition courts?

“I don’t know if there’s much that I can control,” she said.

Earlier this month, her agent reportedly said he thought that Sharapova will play through the 2020 Tokyo Games if healthy.

Sharapova will be 33 years old come the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, two years older than any previous Russian Olympic tennis player. She will likely have to be ranked among the top four Russians in the world in spring 2020 to qualify for the Games outright.

Sharapova’s passion for the Olympics is well documented.

She carried the Russian flag into the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and carried the Olympic flame into Fisht Stadium at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony, where she worked for NBC Olympics.

“It was the one thing that my parents allowed me to watch on TV late into the evening was the Olympics,” Sharapova said Tuesday. “I grew up watching figure skating and hockey and a little bit of tennis. … Just capturing the Opening Ceremonies and seeing all the countries and the little hats that they wore, and I, as a little girl, I just imagined that maybe it would be me. But I never, ever thought that I would be carrying the flag.

“I received that [flag] honor in a text message, which is a very Russian way of communicating. I originally thought it was a joke, a big fat joke. Then I showed it to my mother, and she [said], no, they probably wouldn’t joke like that.”

In February 2016, Sharapova entered a Fed Cup tie, despite saying she was injured, in order to receive Olympic eligibility.

One month later, her failed drug test was announced.

Two women’s players, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams, have achieved the singles career Golden Slam — winning all four majors and the Olympics. Sharapova, beaten by Williams 6-0, 6-1 in the London 2012 final, is a Tokyo title away from joining them.

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