Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom door, cricket bat appear at murder trial

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Oscar Pistorius‘ murder trial Wednesday focused on a recreation of the bathroom where his girlfriend was shot, including the exact door Pistorius shot through, the cricket bat he said he swung at the door and a model of the toilet she sat on.

Pistorius said in an affidavit last year that he shot through the bathroom door at what he thought was an intruder, without wearing his prosthetic legs on Valentine’s Day 2013.

He then realized he may have shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, put on his prosthetic legs, tried to kick down the locked door and then bashed open the door with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp inside.

On Wednesday, forensic analyst Col. J.G. Vermeulen took the cricket bat and swung it at the door while on his knees during testimony inside a Pretoria, South Africa, court room.

Vermeulen said he believed Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, was not using his prosthetic legs when he swung the bat at his bathroom door on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.

That contradicted Pistorius, who said in his affidavit last year that he was wearing prosthetic legs at the time.

“I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open,” Pistorius said in a statement. “I think I must then have turned on the lights. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door.”

Pistorius’ defense said Wednesday that he swung the bat at the door with his prosthetic legs on and with a bent back.

Pistorius could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot four times through the bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp inside.

The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot through the door after an argument with Steenkamp. Pistorius has said he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

The trial is expected to resume at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the Pistorius trial.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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